Published on: Thursday, January 18, 2018

On January 16th, the Ninth Circuit held in United States v. Brown, No. 16-30218, that a prior Washington state drug conspiracy did not qualify as a controlled substance offense under USSG §2K2.1. Under Washington state law, a person can be convicted of a drug conspiracy when one of the parties to the conspiracy is a law enforcement officer or other government agent who did not intend a crime be committed. The court held that as a result, the Washington drug conspiracy statute covered conduct that would not be covered under federal law and therefore, the state statute was not a categorical match to conspiracy under federal law. 

The decision of the Ninth Circuit is here. The Training Division provides resources on predicate convictions, including controlled substances offenses, being used to increase sentences here.