Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Huitron-Rocha

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

November 7, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
EFRAIN HUITRON-ROCHA, Defendant-Appellant

Argued and Submitted October 8, 2014, Pasadena, California

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. D.C. No. 3:13-cr-00621-BEN-1. Roger T. Benitez, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[**]

Criminal Law

The panel affirmed a sentence for reentry after removal and without permission, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326, in a case in which the district court, applying the modified categorical approach, concluded that the defendant's prior conviction for possession and transportation of cocaine for sale, in violation of California Health and Safety Code section 11352(a), was for a " drug trafficking offense" under U.S.S.G. § 2L1.2(b)(1)(A).

The panel held that because there is no meaningful distinction, for purposes of divisibility, between section 11352(a) and the California drug laws at issue in Coronado v. Holder, 759 F.3d 977 (9th Cir. 2014) (§ 11377(a)), and United States v. De La Torre-Jimenez, No. 13-50438, 771 F.3d 1163, (9th Cir. Nov. 7, 2014) (§ 11351), section 11352(a) is divisible and the modified categorical approach applies. The panel rejected the defendant's argument that Rendon v. Holder, 764 F.3d 1077 (9th Cir. 2014), is to the contrary.

Erick L. Guzman, Law Office of Erick L. Guzman, Santa Rosa, California, for Defendant-Appellant.

Alex W. Markle (argued), Special Assistant United States Attorney, Bruce R. Castetter, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief, Appellate Section, Criminal Division, and Laura E. Duffy, United States Attorney, San Diego, California, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Before: David M. Ebel,[*] Andrew J. Kleinfeld, and Susan P. Graber, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

GRABER, Circuit Judge.

Defendant Efrain Huitron-Rocha appeals his 41-month sentence following a guilty plea to one count of reentering the United States after removal and without permission, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a). Applying the modified categorical approach, the district court concluded that Defendant's prior conviction for possession and transportation of cocaine for sale, in violation of California Health and Safety Code section 11352(a), was for a " drug trafficking offense" under U.S.S.G. § 2L1.2(b)(1)(A). On appeal, Defendant argues for the first time that the district court erred by using the modified categorical approach because section 11352(a) is not a " divisible" statute within the meaning of Descamps v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2276, 186 L.Ed.2d 438 (2013). Whether we review de novo or for plain error, we conclude that no error occurred. California Health and Safety Code section 11352(a)

Page 1184

is " divisible," and the modified categorical approach applies. Accordingly, we affirm.[1]

In Coronado v. Holder, 759 F.3d 977, 983-85 & n.4 (9th Cir. 2014), we held that California Health and Safety Code section 11377(a) is divisible within the meaning of Descamps, because the statute contains a " listing of alternative controlled substances" and because California law confirms that the controlled substance is an essential element of the crime. In an opinion filed concurrently with this one, we hold that, because California Health and Safety Code section 11351 is materially indistinguishable from section 11377(a), Coronado controls and the modified categorical approach applies. United States v. De La Torre-Jimenez, No. 13-50438, 771 F.3d 1163, (9th Cir. Nov. 7, 2014). There, we also reject the defendant's argument that our decision in Rendon v. Holder, 764 F.3d 1077 (9th Cir. 2014), is to the contrary. De La Torre-Jimenez, at *5-*7.

The same reasoning applies with equal force to the statute at issue here: California Health and Safety Code section 11352(a). Like sections 11351 and 11377(a), section 11352(a) covers a list of controlled substances[2] and is governed by the same general California law applicable to sections 11351 and 11377(a). Because there is no meaningful distinction, for purposes of divisibility, between section 11352(a) and the California drug laws at issue in Coronado and De La Torre-Jimenez , we hold that section 11352(a) is divisible and that the modified categorical approach applies. Defendant does not challenge the way in which the district court analyzed the modified categorical approach, if the statute is, as we hold, divisible.

AFFIRMED.


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.