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United States v. Becerra

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

December 20, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JUAN JOSE BECERRA, Defendant.

FINDINGS

DOLLY M. GEE, District Judge.

Having duly considered the parties' stipulated facts, exhibits, and other evidence presented at trial, the Court finds that the Government has established the essential elements of the offense charged in the single count of the Indictment beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. Defendant, Juan Jose Becerra, knowingly distributed 26.9 grams of actual methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, on August 11, 2011;
2. Defendant knew that it was methamphetamine; and
3. Defendant was not entrapped to commit the offense because Defendant admitted that he had on numerous prior occasions committed the offense of distribution of a controlled substance (i.e., cocaine and marijuana) and, thus, the government did not engage in conduct that created a substantial risk that an "otherwise innocent person" would commit an offense.

The Court therefore FINDS Defendant, Juan Jose Becerra, GUILTY as charged in the single count of the Indictment.

The Court makes the further additional finding, however, that Defendant has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that sentencing entrapment occurred because:

1. Defendant lost his job due to a back injury in June 2011 and became addicted to painkillers (i.e., Norco pills);
2. Defendant sold small amounts of marijuana and cocaine to family and friends in order to pay bills and buy additional Norco pills;
3. Defendant had seen the deleterious consequences of methamphetamine addiction on his sister, a methamphetamine addict, and as a result he did not like to sell methamphetamine;
4. When Defendant first met the confidential informant on July 15, 2011, he responded to the confidential informant's request for methamphetamine by saying, in effect, that he could not get that drug, did not sell that drug, and could only get cocaine for him;
5. Defendant sold approximately 3.8 grams of actual cocaine to the confidential informant on July 15, 2011;
6. Even though Defendant had a supplier to whom he could have made an immediate request for any type of drug, he repeatedly held the confidential informant at bay by telling him only that he would "try" to get the methamphetamine that the confidential informant requested, but that he could definitely get cocaine or marijuana for him;
7. The confidential informant admitted to "hanging out" with Defendant more than 10 times and calling Defendant "more times than he could count" and that at some point in the conversations ...

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