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Tag Archives: Drug Trafficking

Criminal Practice – Illegal Re-Entry Sentence Enhanced for ‘Drug Trafficking’ (access required)

U.S. v. Medina-Campo A defendant’s conviction under Oregon state law of unlawful delivery of heroin may be regarded as a “drug trafficking offense” qualifying for a 16-level enhancement under federal sentencing guidelines, and the 4th Circuit affirms defendant’s sentence of 50 months on his conviction of illegal entry after deportation, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a).

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Criminal Practice – Entrapment Defense – Predisposition – Drug Trafficking – Shared Constructive Possession (access required)

State v. Adams Even though, at trial, defendant denied arranging to meet confidential informant Shaw and testified that he did not know he was arranging a cocaine deal, this testimony is to be weighed against the uncontradicted evidence of defendant’s physical presence at the scene of the cocaine purchase, his borrowing and driving the truck delivering the cocaine, the phone calls to and from Shaw and Kendrick Armstrong (who provided the cocaine), and defendant’s admissions to law enforcement shortly after his arrest. Defendant failed to meet his burden of presenting credible evidence that he was entrapped and that he was not predisposed to commit the crime charged. The trial court correctly denied defendant’s request for a jury instruction on entrapment.

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Criminal Practice – Forfeiture — $400,000 in Currency – Drug-Trafficking – Time Deadline (access required)

U.S. v. Martin Four defendants convicted as part of a drug-trafficking operation lose their appellate challenge to the belated forfeiture of their property under 18 U.S.C. § 983, including over $400,000 in currency from several accounts, a Mercedes automobile and several million dollars in drug proceeds, as the 4th Circuit holds the time deadline for forfeiture under Rule 32.2 is not a jurisdictional condition. Defendants argue the district court was without jurisdiction to order the criminal forfeiture of their property after sentencing and the entry of judgments.

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Criminal Practice – Sentencing – Drug Trafficking – Enhancement – Prior State Conviction – Marijuana Possession (access required)

U.S. v. Simmons The en banc 4th Circuit vacates a North Carolina defendant’s federal drug trafficking sentence that was enhanced because of a prior state conviction for marijuana possession, in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision from last year that casts doubt on the practice of treating minor state crimes as serious felonies.

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Criminal Practice – Drug Trafficking – Confidential Informant – Prescription Drugs (access required)

State v. Ellison An informant explained that John Shaw had a practice of filling his Lorcet and Xanax prescriptions, taking them to defendant Treadway’s house, selling them to Treadway, and leaving. Then defendant Ellison would come to Treadway’s house to buy the pills from Treadway. With a few minor inconsistencies, the informant’s predictions were corroborated by a detective’s surveillance of Shaw, Treadway and Ellison. The detective had a sufficient basis to stop Ellison’s truck as he left Treadway’s home.

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