Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

PC World

United States v. Chowdhury, No. 09-3442-cr (2d Cir. February 22, 2011) (Cabranes, Chin, CJJ, Crotty, DJ) (per curiam)

The controlled substance known as BZP, when combined with another chemical, known as TFMPP, which is not a controlled substance, is frequently sold as MDMA (ecstasy) and has a somewhat similar effect on the user. However, there is no Guideline in U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1 for BZP or the BZP/TFMPP combination.

When sentencing for a drug “not specifically referenced” in the Guidelines, application note 5 to § 2D1.1 directs the use of the “most closely related” controlled substance, and gives three criteria for comparison – chemical structure, effect on the central nervous system and potency.

In this opinion, the court affirms the district court’s conclusion that BZP/TFMPP is most closely related to ecstasy.

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