AG Balderas Announces Court of Appeals Reverses District Court Dismissal; Possession of Multiple Controlled Substances Supports Separate Possession Charges

For Immediate Release:
March 10, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares (505) 321-4372

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Today, the Court of Appeals reversed a district court dismissal of one of two controlled substance possession charges and held that both charges could proceed to trial.

Felicia Garcia was stopped by police in Albuquerque and was found to have both heroin and methamphetamine in her possession. The State charged her with two counts of possession; one for each controlled substance. The district court dismissed one of the counts before trial, finding that state law does not define the unit of prosecution and therefore simultaneous possession of two separate controlled substances could support only one charge.

The Court of Appeals reversed and held that the law is clear in its intent to punish possession of each controlled substance. The Court of Appeals thus remanded the case back to the district court for trial on both counts.

“The appellate court got it right, and a defendant should not be afforded a ‘volume discount’ for possession of multiple controlled substances,” said Attorney General Balderas.

The case was investigated by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office.


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