United States v. Scott (U)

The defendant’s indictment for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine violated the Double Jeopardy Clause. The trial court should have granted his motion to dismiss, and his conviction and sentence must be vacated.

The time frame of the more recent indictment, which alleged a conspiracy between 2003 and 2015, completely encompasses that of the defendant’s 2006 indictment. Both the 2006 and 2016 indictments describe conspiracies that took place in the same geographic area. The court is not persuaded that the current indictment describes a wholly separate criminal agreement from the 2006 indictment.

The defendant raised a non-frivolous double jeopardy claim that shifted the burden of proof to the government. The government then failed to meet its burden to prove that the conspiracy described in the present indictment were distinct from those described in the defendant’s 2006 indictment.

Reversed and remanded for vacatur of the defendant’s conviction and sentence.

United States v. Scott (U), No. 17-4458, Jan. 15, 2019. 4th Cir. (per curiam) from DSC at Anderson (Cain).

Categories: 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Opinions, Unpublished

Tags: ,

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