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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
United States v. Joyce
Citation:693 F.2d 838.
An undercover police officer, James Gebbie, posed as a drug dealer and contacted the defendant by telephone to inform him about drugs for purchase in St. Louis. The defendant indicated that he had twenty-two thousand dollars and would be in St. Louis the following day. Gebbie and the defendant agreed that twenty-two thousand dollars would be more than sufficient to purchase a pound of cocaine.
The defendant flew from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to St. Louis, Missouri, where he met Gebbie and another undercover officer, Robert Jones. Jones and Gebbie took the defendant to a room in a local St. Louis hotel, where the defendant immediately asked to see the cocaine. Jones told the defendant that the cocaine was not in the hotel room, but could be easily obtained by Jones if the defendant was interested in dealing rather than merely talking. After the defendant professed his interest in dealing, Officer Jonea went to his office and obtained the cocaine.
When officer Jones returned to the hotel room, he handed the defendant a duct-tape wrapped plastic package said to contain a kilogram of cocaine. Without unwrapping the tape, the defendant immediately returned the package, stating that he could not see the cocaine. Jones said that he would only open the plastic package if and when the defendant showed the money that he intended to use to purchase the cocaine. The defendant then replied that he would not produce his money until Jones first opened up the plastic package. After Jones persisted in asking the defendant to produce his money, the defendant again refused, stating that he would not deal with officer Jones no matter how good the cocaine was. Realizing that the defendant was not going to show his money or purchase the cocaine, Jones told the defendant to leave and the defendant left, with no apparent intention of returning at a later time to purchase any cocaine.
As the defendant left the hotel, he was arrested by DEA agents. The defendant’s luggage had twenty-two thousand dollars in cash. He was convicted of attempting to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute. He appealed, arguing that the evidence was not sufficient to sustain his conviction.
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