The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a sentence for cocaine distribution (pdf) and said the U.S. Supreme Court would need to resolve a circuit split on whether minimum sentences for cocaine offenses apply only to crack or to all forms of cocaine base.

On Wednesday, the 1st Circuit upheld an August 2008 sentence of Frantz DePierre, the defendant in U.S. v. DePierre. Judge Douglas Woodlock of the District of Massachusetts sentenced DePierre to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. In April 2008, a jury found DePierre guilty of distributing cocaine. He was also found guilty of distributing more than 50 grams of cocaine base, which carries a 10-year minimum sentence.

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