United States v. Agis-Meza, 99 F.3d 1052 (11th Cir. 1996)
FEDERAL APPEALS COURT FINDS REVERSIBLE SENTENCING ERROR
After client pleaded guilty in a major federal marijuana distribution case, the probation officer’s presentence report noted that agents had found 89 empty plastic wrappers with marijuana residue in client’s residence which equated to approximately 170 kilograms of marijuana. The agents also found $362,950, which probation argued also represented 170 kilograms of marijuana. At the Government’s request, the sentencing count found that the client was responsible for 340 kilograms of marijuana as a result. Della Fera handled the appeal and successfully argued that the sentencing court had “double counted” the marijuana and that the money found represented the proceeds of marijuana sold that was originally in the empty plastic wrappers. Thus, the client’s sentence was overturned and significantly reduced on remand. It should be noted that Mr. Della Fera prepared and argued the brief in this appeal within his first year of graduating law school; a sign from above of great things to come!