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Drug Trafficking

Aug 25, 2017

Criminal Practice – Drug Trafficking – Knowledge – Type of Drug – First Impression

State v. Miles (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-061-17, 10 pp.) (D. Garrison Hill, J.) Appealed from Lexington County Circuit Court (Thomas Russo, J.) S.C. App. Holding: As applied to this case, our drug trafficking statute’s use of “knowingly” applies to defendant’s being “in actual or constructive possession”; the adverb does not apply to the types of […]

May 31, 2017

Criminal Practice – Prior Conviction Was For ‘Drug Trafficking’

U.S. v. Walker (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-118-17, 9 pp.) (Traxler, J.) No. 16-4367, May 24, 2017; USDC at Columbia, S.C. (Currie, J.) 4th Cir. Holding: The 4th Circuit affirms a 30-month sentence for a Jamaican native who pleaded guilty to illegal reentry after being convicted of an aggravated felony; the district court did not err […]

Feb 3, 2015

Probable cause found in odor, blunts and conflicting stories

Despite a rain-averse drug dog’s failure to detect narcotics, a divided state Supreme Court recently held, York County deputies had both reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and probable cause to conduct a warrantless vehicle search. In 2008, Sheriff’s Deputy L.T. Vinesett pulled over a rental car being driven by Kenneth Morris II at a gas […]

Nov 6, 2014

Criminal Practice — Gun-Sale Talk Leads to Extra Sentence

U.S. v. Pineda (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-182-14, 19 pp.) (Niemeyer, J.) No. 13-4555, Oct. 29, 2014; USDC at Wilmington, N.C. (Boyle, J.) 4th Cir. Holding: The 4th Circuit upholds multiple enhancements of a sentence for a defendant convicted of selling cocaine and firearms to a confidential informant, despite defendant’s claim that there was insufficient evidence […]

Aug 30, 2012

Criminal – Drug trafficking –– Confrontation clause – Cross-examination of witnesses

State v. Gracely Preventing cross-examination questioning which would have examined the extent of witness bias and witnesses’ possible motivations for testifying against the accused violates the Confrontation Clause and is not harmless error.

Jun 8, 2012

Criminal Practice – Drug Trafficking – Evidence – Civil Forfeiture – Conspiracy – Financial Assistance – Other Drug Sales

State v. McEachern Defendant gave lengthy testimony concerning where all the money found in her handbag came from in order to rebut any inference that the money was connected to the drugs seized from her handbag and her vehicle. Defendant also said that none of the money was drug money. Thus, defendant opened the door to the admission of evidence that she had agreed to forfeit the money i[...]

Dec 9, 2011

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

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 j[...]

Aug 24, 2011

Criminal Practice – Sentencing – Drug Trafficking – Enhancement – Prior State Conviction – Marijuana Possession

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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