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Name: People v. Verduzco
Case #: B227825
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/08/2012
Summary

Appellant’s possession of only one of two chemicals required to manufacture a reducing agent was insufficient to support conviction under Health and Safety Code section 11383.5, subdivision (e). During a search of Verduzco’s house, police found red phosphorus, which, when combined with iodine, is used to manufacture methamphetamine. He was convicted of possession of an essential chemical sufficient to manufacture a reducing agent with intent to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of section 11383.5, subdivision (e). On appeal, Verduzco argued that insufficient evidence supported the conviction because he possessed only one of the chemicals necessary to make a reducing agent. The appellate court agreed and reversed. The statute’s unambiguous language requires possession of all constituent elements necessary to make a reducing agent, not just red phosphorus or iodine alone. The legislative history of the statute does not undermine this straightforward interpretation and evidences an intent to criminalize possession only where both chemicals are possessed. The court also noted that CALCRIM No. 2338 incorrectly permits conviction on possession of only one constituent of a reducing agent.