United States v. Huang

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
  • Date Filed: 08-08-2012
  • Case #: 10-10389
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Court Judge Callahan for the Court; Circuit Judges Schroeder and N. R. Smith
  • Full Text Opinion

The district court sentencing of defendant for drug offenses was not in error because the defendant failed to show that he was subject to sentencing entrapment, the sentencing enhancement for importation pursuant to U.S.S.G. 2D1.1(b)(5) was proper because the government need only show that the drugs were imported, and the sentence received was reasonable because defendant did not cooperate.

Defendant Biao Huang was sentenced to 135 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He appealed his sentence based on several grounds including “sentencing entrapment,” that it was unreasonable, and that he should not have received a two-point enhancement for “an offense involving the importation of a controlled substance.” Huang argued on appeal that he was influenced by the government to sell a larger amount of methamphetamine and that the enhancement for importation was not warranted because he himself did not import the drugs. The Ninth Circuit held that Huang failed to meet his burden by a preponderance that the government entrapped him into selling a larger amount of methamphetamine, but rather found that he was ready and willing to sell the larger amount. The Court also held, in line with Fifth and Eleventh Circuit holdings on the same issue, that for an importation enhancement to sentencing it is sufficient for the government to show that the drugs were imported. Lastly, the Court considered Huang’s argument that his sentence was unreasonable because he received the upper limit of his sentencing range for his offenses. The Court found that Huang, unlike his co-defendant, who entered into a plea agreement, did not cooperate with the government or show regret for his actions and that his sentence, therefore, was reasonable. AFFIRMED.

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