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Defendants Contend Possession of Firearms Charge


Case Contentions

A New York Criminal Lawyer said two of the defendants in this case were convicted for conspiracy and attempt to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine and knowing possession of several fire arms in conjunction with drug trafficking offenses. One of the defendants was sentenced to 438 months and the other to 468 months of imprisonment. Both defendants are appealing their convictions.

Each of the defendants contend that count four of the indictment that charged the knowing possession of firearms in furthering a drug trafficking crime was not properly presented to the jury and if it was presented to the jury properly the instructions that were provided to the jury in regard to that charge were in error. One of the defendant’s also contests that the evidence in the case against him was not sufficient, the district court failed to give the jury appropriate instructions, and that his 438 months sentence was erroneous.

Case Background

The defendants were charged with the conspiracy to possess at least 5 kilograms of cocaine and at least 1000 kilograms of marijuana with the intent to distribute, knowing possession of 5 firearms, including a machine gun, in furthering a drug trafficking crime, possessing a firearm with a serial number that has been obliterated, possessing a machine gun that is unregistered. One of the defendants was also charged with possessing firearm as a convicted felon.

During the trial there were several DEA officers that testified about the reverse sting operation that led to the defendants being arrested. The agents testified that a confidential information provided information that the defendant was seeking a supplier of marijuana. The DEA told the informant to tell the defendant about a man, who happened to be an undercover agent that was posing as a marijuana supplier.

The undercover agent met with the defendant and suggested a price of $300 per pound. The defendant requested 1000 pounds and requested that they be delivered to a restaurant located in the area.

Before the meeting was over the undercover agent asked the informant if he had told the defendant about the white stuff. The agent promised a good price and the two exchanged phone numbers.

At a later time the defendant agreed over the phone to pay a $25,000 security deposit for the marijuana. The two discussed guns as well. The informant confirmed that the defendant could access guns quite easily.

A meeting was staged by the undercover agent along with the DEA. At the exchange the defendants were arrested and charged with the above listed crimes.

Discussion and Decision

A Long Island Criminal Lawyer said the defendants moved at trial for a judgment of acquittal specifically arguing that the fourth count that charged the possession of a machine gun failed to allege an offense because the defendants were also charged with knowingly possessing firearms.

The court has reviewed the facts of the case and affirms the convictions and sentencing of the first defendant on all counts. The second defendant is relieved of the charge of possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, but all other counts are affirmed.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates provides free consultations when you visit our New York City offices for the first time, whether you have been charged with sex crimes, drug possession or theft. Call us today to set up a time to come in and discuss your case.

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