Monday, May 04, 2015

Drug Convictions Affirmed

US v. Gallegos, No. 13-6236 (WD Okla, 4/30/2015)(Published) - Defendant, a bit player in a much larger conspiracy, got ounces of meth for her common-law husband, who would then sell it. She was convicted of three counts of possession with intent to distribute and one count of conspiracy and the Tenth affirmed. Held: (1) defendant forfeited her challenge to admission of coconspirator statements because she didn’t identify any specific statements that should have been excluded; (2) evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; the buyer-seller rule didn’t apply because she got the meth for hubby to distribute; (3) any variance between the charged conspiracy and what she herself conspired to do failed on plain error review because there was no reasonable probability that the outcome would have been different but for the alleged variance, and overwhelming evidence of her participation in smaller conspiracy did not seriously affect the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of the proceedings; (4) challenge to admission of testimony that a co-conspirator requested an attorney during questioning failed on plain error review because defendant couldn’t show that it prejudiced her substantial rights; (5) even assuming error as to the variance and admission of co-conspirator’s request for an attorney, effect of these errors, individually or cumulatively, did not warrant reversal under plain error review.