The defendants and appellants in this case were convicted on a number of different accounts that involved trafficking marijuana. They are raising a number of different claims against their convictions. The main issues that are being raised are whether or not the district court properly denied motions to suppress the evidence that was seized from a search warrant that was executed and if the evidence was admitted properly. A New York Criminal Lawyer said they further question whether or not the evidence was sufficient to support their convictions.
A federal grand jury issued an indictment with 27 charges against the seven defendants. There were numerous offenses related to the trafficking of marijuana (drug possession). There were also charges of conspiracy, criminal enterprise, importation, possession with the intent to distribute, and possession with the intent to distribute on board a United States vessel.
This indictment was based on evidence of several attempts to import marijuana into the United States. Several different vessels were used. Each attempt involved a new crew, but followed the same general plan overall. The leader of the group would solicit or have one of the other six defendants in this case solicit a captain and crew to import the marijuana using a particular type of boat, typically a fishing vessel or shrimping boat.
The crew would be given a portion of the money up front and the remainder was promised to them when they completed the trip. The crew was given a radio to use and one of the members was assigned to communicate through the radio using only a code that was given to them. The route would be outlined for the crew by the leading defendant.
Case Discussion and Decisions
A Westchester County Criminal Lawyer said in regard to the first defendant in the case, he has been convicted on all of the counts that were charged by the indictment. He claims that the evidence against him is insufficient to support the conviction for counts 20 through 22 and count 25. The court will vacate the convictions for counts 20 through 22, but the charge from count 25 is affirmed.
The second defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions for counts 16 through 19. The court agrees with the argument and the convictions on these counts are vacated.
The third defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction on counts 2, 3, 10, 12, and 17, of the indictment. The court disagrees. The second and third counts are charges for conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute. There is more than enough evidence to confirm these charges.
The final two defendants motioned for acquittal at the end of the government’s case. This motion was denied by the district court. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendants claim that there is not sufficient evidence to support their conviction on counts one through three. The court disagrees and these charges are affirmed.
All of the charges that are not named in the above are confirmed.
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