Monday, August 06, 2012

Pre-2007 NM 2nd-degree drug trafficking offenses are ACCA predicates

U.S. v. Romero-Leon, 2012 WL 2756042 (7/10/12) (N.M.) (unpub'd) - The 10th decides New Mexico's second-degree drug trafficking offenses sentenced before the 2007 decision in State v. Frawley, 172 P.2d 144 (N.M. 2007) (which held Apprendi prohibited aggravation), are "serious drug offenses" under the ACCA. While those offenses carried a 9-year basic sentence, they can be aggravated to 12 years. It doesn't matter that in a particular case a state district court did not find aggravating circumstances. The maximum sentence is at least 10 years. End of story. The 10th relied on U.S. v. Rodriquez, 553 U.S. 377 (2008). But in that case the enhancement was actually applied. The convictions added up to the necessary 3, even though two of them had been consolidated for sentencing.