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US v. Ferrel, No. 09-1002

By FindLaw Staff on March 29, 2010 5:15 PM

In US v. Ferrel, No. 09-1002, the Tenth Circuit affirmed defendant's drug conspiracy conviction and sentence, on the grounds that 1) nothing in the record indicated that defendant would not have pleaded guilty and would have instead exercised his right to trial had the district court properly informed him of the quantity of drugs with which he was charged; 2) defendant failed to show that he would not have pleaded guilty had he correctly been informed of the statutory minimum and maximum sentence; and 3) defendant had no right to plead guilty to some elements of an offense but have a jury decide others.

As the court wrote:  "Lionel Ferrel was indicted on and pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, and a substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A). He was sentenced to 108 months' imprisonment. On appeal, he challenges the validity of his guilty plea and sentence, arguing that the district court: (1) failed to inform him during the Rule 11 plea colloquy of the drug-quantity element of the offense--namely, that the purpose of the conspiracy was to possess with intent to distribute at least fifty grams of methamphetamine; (2) misinformed him during the Rule 11 plea colloquy of the statutory maximum sentence; and (3) should have submitted to a jury the question of the quantity and purity of the methamphetamine involved in the offense. We have jurisdiction under 21 U.S.C. § 1291 and 18 U.S.C. § 3742(a), and we AFFIRM."

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