The Seventh Circuit has determined that a conviction under an Illinois statute criminalizing unlawful possession of a controlled substance is not a deportable offense. Both parties agreed that the statute criminalized possession of substances not listed in the Controlled Substances Act. The court found the statute at issue to be indivisible.
“Under the language of § 402(c) and its place in the larger Illinois act, any ‘controlled substance’ will do, subject to the explicit exceptions for methamphetamine, counterfeit substances, and anabolic steroids. The text and structure do not show that the identity of the controlled substance is an element under § 402(c).” The court also noted that while the charging document in the petitioner’s criminal case specified the identity of the substance, the sentencing document did not.
The full text of Najera-Rodriguez v. Barr can be found here: