Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,800+ case briefs...

United States v. Muessig

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
427 F.3d 856 (2005)


The federal government (plaintiff) prosecuted Huong Muessig and Nga Tran (defendants) for distributing "precursor" chemicals, knowing that they would be used to manufacture a controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(c)(2). The trial evidence established that Muessig and Tran operated two convenience stores that stocked the cold remedy pseudoephedrine. From June 2000 to September 2001, Tran sold undercover detective Mark Wenthold hundreds of pseudoephedrine pills at far more than their retail price. Tran's pseudoephedrine supplier and Tran's sister both warned her against selling large quantities of the pills because they could be used, illegally, to make the controlled substance methamphetamine. Wenthold told Tran that he used the pills precisely for that purpose. On several occasions, Wenthold had to calm Tran after she expressed fear that he was working for the police. Wenthold also urged Tran to sell him bottles of pills, rather than blister packs, because the bottles made it easier to release a large number of pills at once. Beginning in April 2001, Wenthold also bought pills from Muessig. Muessig voiced her suspicions that Wenthold might send her to jail, but she accepted Tran's and Wenthold's reassurances. Over a two-week period, Muessig sold Wenthold 3,024 pills, a two-year supply for normal cold-fighting purposes. Two witnesses testified that Muessig knew that pseudoephedrine was a precursor chemical. The jury convicted both Muessig and Tran, and they appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, contending that the government's evidence was insufficient to prove that they knew Wenthold intended to use the pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Tymkovich, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 450,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 450,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,800 briefs, keyed to 224 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial