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United States v. Hunte

(1999)

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit - 196 F.3d 687

tl;dr:

Evidence that someone participated in the conspiracy and had constructive possession of drugs is sufficient to support a conviction, even if there was no financial motive to the defendant.

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Facts & HoldingUnited States v. Hunte case brief facts & holding

Facts:Hunte was dating a drug dealer and accompanied him on...

Holding:The court held that the convictions were proper, because a...

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United States v. Hunte | Case Brief DeepDive
Majority opinion, author: KANNE, Circuit Judge.
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Cheryl A. Hunte appeals her conviction and sentence for her involvement in an attempt to transport narcotics from Arizona to New York in 1997. Hunte challenged the sufficiency of the evidence against her and the denial of a sentencing reduction under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § SB 1.2 for her minimal or minor role in the crime. The trial court erred in denying the § 3B1.2 reduction, and the case is remanded for re-sentencing. Hunte accompanied her boyfriend and a known drug dealer on a trip to California to purchase and bring back a load of narcotics. Hunte stood to gain nothing from the deal and apparently went along for the ride. Joseph Richards directed the trip and made most of the decisions. He informed Luis Gonzalez that they were headed for Arizona, not California, to pick up as much marijuana as possible and bring it back to New York. Gonzalez would get his share and sell it for $8,000 to $9,000. Richards warned Gonzalez to drive safely and obey the speed limit and other rules of the road. The three drove until they got to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they rented a motel room. Richards and Gonzalez left Hunte behind and went to meet Johnathan Warwick, a Tulsa resident who rented a room from a man to whom Richards owed $3,000 for past drug dealings. Richards asked Warwick to help him drive to Phoenix, not telling him for what purpose. Warwick agreed, believing that if the trip was successful, Richards would pay his friend the $3,000 Richards owed, and the friend would stop taking Warwick’s disability checks for room and board. The three men picked up Hunte at the motel and left for Arizona.

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