The Fourth Department determined defendant should not have been sentenced as a second felony offender based upon a prior federal drug conspiracy conviction:
… [T]his case “falls within the narrow exception to [the] preservation rule permitting appellate review when a sentence’s illegality is readily discernible from the . . . record” … . Here, the record establishes that the predicate felony was based on defendant’s previous conviction in federal court of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine (21 USC § 846; see § 841 [a] ; [b]). However, “under New York’s ‘strict equivalency’ standard for convictions rendered in other jurisdictions, a federal conviction for conspiracy to commit a drug crime may not serve as a predicate felony for sentencing purposes” … . People v Lopez, 2022 NY Slip Op 02925, Fourth Dept 4-29-22
Practice Point: A defendant cannot be sentenced as a second felony offender based upon a prior federal drug conspiracy conviction. The issue fell within an exception to the preservation requirement.