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Conspiracy to Manufacture Controlled Substance — Sufficiency of Evidence – Knowledge of Intended Use – Agreement

State v. Henry E. Routon, 2007 WI App 178, PFR filed 
For Routon: Jefren E. Olsen, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding:  Evidence of conspiracy to manufacture controlled substance is sufficient, notwithstanding that the psilocybe spores that defendant sold were themselves legal, given “abundant evidence from which it is reasonable to infer that Routon marketed the psilocybe spores to persons who wanted to use them for the illegal purpose of growing mushrooms and that this was the predominant part of the business,” ¶30.

Issue/Holding: 

¶36 Routon, as noted above, argues that the single sale to Agent Smith is, as a matter of law, insufficient evidence of an agreement. However, in the cases on which he relies, there was no evidence, as there is here, of an ongoing business that had the predominant purpose of selling a product for an illegal use. …

¶37 We do not agree with Routon that the evidence here shows “[a] single, casual transaction.” Although there was only one sale to Agent Smith, the reasonable inference the court drew from the evidence is that Routon marketed and sold psilocybe spores and grow kits to a number of other purchasers as part of his ongoing business. This is important because evidence of an ongoing business may, as here, provide evidence of the seller’s knowledge of the illegal use of the product sold and an intent to further, promote, and cooperate in that illegal use.

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