WEST virginia Legislature
2016 regular session
House Bill 4578
By Delegates Weld, Byrd, Sobonya, B. White, Foster, Moore, Hicks and Perdue
17, 2016; Referred
to the Select Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §60A-4-414, relating to conspiracy to commit violations of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act; creating the felony offense of conspiracy; providing penalties; establishing a sentencing guideline based upon quantity for certain controlled substances; authorizing the court to make the determination of applicable quantity; and authorizing the aggregation of quantities from all participants and members of the conspiracy.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §60A-4-414, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. offenses and penalties.
(a) Any person who conspires with one or more other persons to commit an offense enumerated in this chapter shall, if one or more of such persons does any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, be deemed guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than two nor more than ten years: Provided, That if the offense involves one of the substances and quantities specified in the guideline in subsection (b) of this section, then the person shall be sentenced to the applicable penalty specified in the guideline in subsection (b).
(b) For those persons convicted under subsection (a) of this section for a controlled substance specified in the guideline below, the person shall be imprisoned pursuant to the specified penalty in the guideline based upon the applicable quantity:
Substance Quantity Imprisonment
(not less than/nor more than)
1 kilogram or more 20 years/60 years
100 to 999 grams 10 years /30 years
Less than 100 grams 5 years/15 years
5 kilograms or more 20 years/60 years
500 to 4999 grams 10 years/30 years
Less than 500 grams 5 years/15 years
100 grams or more 20 years/60 years
10 to 99 grams 10 years/30 years
Less than 10 grams 5 years/15 years
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
10 grams or more 20 years/60 years
1 to 9 grams 10 years/30 years
Less than 1 gram 5 years/15 years
50 grams or more (or 500 grams 20 years/60 years
or more of a mixture)
5 to 49 grams (or 50 to 499 10 years/30 years
grams or more of a mixture)
Less than 5 grams (or less than 5 years/15 years
50 grams of mixture)
1000 kilograms or more 20 years/60 years
100 to 999 kilograms 10 years/30 years
50 to 99 kilograms 5 years/15 years
Less than 50 kilograms 2 years/10 years
For purposes of this guideline, 1 kilogram is equal to 35.27 ounces; 1 gram is equal to 0.04 ounces.
(c) As part of sentencing, the court shall make the determination as to the applicable quantity based upon information before the court or that may be made known to the court through plea agreement, proffer, stipulation, presentence investigation, or evidence adduced at trial. If necessary, the court may require presentation of evidence by the state to determine the applicable quantity as part of sentencing under the guideline. The court’s determination as to the applicable quantity may be based upon reasonable estimates derived and calculable from information or evidence before the court.
(d) For purposes of sentencing under this section, the determination as to the applicable quantity of controlled substances may include any quantity or type of controlled substance involved in the conspiracy including, but not be limited to, controlled substances manufactured, distributed, delivered, possessed, or obtained by other participants or members of the conspiracy.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a criminal offense to hold all participants involved in a conspiracy to violate the drug laws responsible. The bill establishes sentences based upon quantities for certain controlled substances, and allows all substances possessed or delivered among the members of the conspiracy to be attributed to a defendant. This bill was recommended for introduction by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary that met during the 2015-2016 Interim session.
This bill was recommended for introduction by the following House members of the Joint Interim Committee on the Judiciary: Delegates Shott, Azinger, Byrd, Deem, Fleischauer, Folk, Foster, Hanshaw, Hicks, lreland, Kessinger, McCuskey, Moore, Overington, Rowe, Shaffer, Skinner, Sobonya, Summers, Weld, & B. White.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.