Sunday, November 17, 2013

United States v. Howard-Arias case brief

United States v. Howard-Arias case brief summary
679 F.2d 363 (1982)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant challenged an order of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which convicted him of possession of marijuana on the high seas with intent to distribute and possession with intent to import in violation of 21 U.S.C.S. §§ 955a(a) and955a(d).

CASE FACTS
Appellant was convicted of possession of marijuana on the high seas with intent to distribute and possession with intent to import in violation of 21 U.S.C.S. §§ 955a(a), 955a(d).

DISCUSSION

  • The court affirmed. Appellant's arguments concerning the admissibility of certain evidence were meritless. 
  • Although the special agent who received the marijuana for transit to the DEA did not testify, the chain of custody rule was not violated because there was sufficient proof that the evidence was authentic. 
  • A statement from a foreign official regarding the vessel on which appellant worked conformed with Fed. R. of Evid. 902(e). 
  • Appellants' conviction for possession with intent to distribute marijuana under § 955a(a) and intent to import it under § 955a(d) did not violate the double jeopardy clause of the U.S. Constitutional Amendment V because congressional intent was to create two separate crimes.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed, finding that appellant's arguments concerning the admissibility of certain evidence were meritless. The court held that appellant's conviction for both possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and intent to import did not violate the double jeopardy clause.

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