The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas M. Rose United States District Judge
Pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion for New Trial or Judgment of Acquittal (Doc. #55) filed July 19, 2006. The Defendant requests a new trial or acquittal on Count One of the four count indictment charging him with Conspiracy to Distribute and to Possess with intent to Distribute, more than five (5) kilograms of cocaine in violation of Title 24 U.S.C. Section 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(a) arguing that the Government was unable to prove the quantity of drugs charged. Specifically, that Defendant was personally involved in the distribution and possession with intent to distribute in excess of five (5) kilograms of cocaine.
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33 allows for a new trial to be granted "if the interest of justice so requires." A defendant challenging a jury's guilty verdict through a claim of insufficient evidence bears a "very heavy burden" United States v. Vannerson, 786 F.2d 221, 225 (6th Circuit 1986). In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, the Court must ask "whether after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. United States v. Coffee, 434 F.2d 887, 895 (6th Circuit).
The Defendant argues that the government was unable to prove personal involvement in the distribution and possession with intent to distribute more than five (5) kilograms of cocaine and that it admitted said failure in its closing argument. While it may be true that there may have been insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this particular Defendant personally distributed in excess of five (5) kilograms of cocaine or personally possessed with the intent to distribute in excess of five (5) kilograms of cocaine, no such proof is required. In a conspiracy charge such as before the Court, it is not necessary that the Government prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this particular Defendant distributed or possessed with the intent to distribute any amount of cocaine.
In Count One, the Government has charged this Defendant with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute in excess of five (5) kilograms of cocaine beginning at a date unknown but by at least early 2000 and then continuing until on or about November 18, 2005.
The Government was required to prove that the conspiracy was willfully formed and was in existence from on or about a date unknown but by at least 2000 and continuing until on or about November 8, 2005, that the Defendant knew of and intended to join and participate in the charged conspiracy and that the Defendant conspired in the Southern District of Ohio.
The Government was not required to prove that the Defendant knew everything about the conspiracy, or knew everyone involved or was a member of the conspiracy during the entire time or he played a major role in the conspiracy. It is also unnecessary for the Government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this Defendant personally distributed or possessed with the intent to distribute any specific amount of cocaine.
The testimony at trial related to the jury how approximately three hundred (300) grams of cocaine was recovered from several of the Defendants' residences as well as how other co-defendants assisted Defendant in the regular processing and distribution of cocaine over a significant period of time from numerous locations in the Dayton.
The Court would conclude based upon this evidence presented at trial that any rational trier of fact could conclude and find that a conspiracy did exist as alleged, that Defendant knew of the conspiracy, joined and participated in said conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute more than five (5) kilograms of cocaine in violation of Title 24 U.S.C. Section 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(d).
Defendant's Motion is not well-founded and, therefore, DENIED.
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