The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime under § 924(c), holding that there was sufficient evidence of the nexus between the firearm and drug trafficking given the firearm’s proximity to the drugs and proceeds, its accessibility, and the government’s evidence that drug traffickers frequently use firearms in connection with drug offenses.
The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction, holding that the Rules of Evidence do not apply in § 851 hearings, and that the district court did not plainly err in applying the preponderance of evidence standard where the evidence established the defendant’s prior conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Court reversed a defendant’s conviction for possession with the intent to distribute ethylone. At issue was whether ethylone is a “positional isomer” of butylone, which would therefore make it an illegal controlled substance. The DEA asserted that it was, pursuant to its regulations defining “positional isomers.” The Court disagreed, holding that the DEA’s definition did not unambiguously apply to ethylone, and the Rule of Lenity did not allow for Auer deference in criminal prosecutions.