Maryland  |  Criminal Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 9/20/13, 10:04 am

I am having difficulty understanding federal drug conspiracy.

Could someone explain this hypothetical to me?

Let's say Jeff is a large scale MDMA, Heroin, and Cocaine dealer in Nebraska. He sold 50g of MDMA to Adam from Delaware but also sold 1 kg of MDMA, 1kg of Heroin, and 1kg of Cocaine to other smaller dealers throughout the US. Adam sells the 50g of MDMA to people he knows locally. He also has an assistant Matt from Virginia who helps him sell MDMA sometimes by finding buyers. Overall, Matt helped Adam sell about 10g of MDMA. However, unknown to Adam, Matt also helped another guy (a bigger supplier) from Pennsylvania sell 5g of MDMA as well as 10g of Ketamine.

Assume that Jeff knows Adam, Adam knows Matt, Jeff doesn't know Matt and his other sources, and Adam doesn't know Matt's other sources.

Jeff, Adam, and Matt are arrested. The seller in Pennsylvania is not arrested. No one knows his real name. All everyone knows is that he is in Pennsylvania.

Jeff, Adam, and Matt are charged with a federal drug conspiracy.

Which drugs and which quantities will Jeff be responsible for at federal sentencing?

Which drugs and which quantities will Adam be responsible for at federal sentencing?

Which drugs and which quantities will Matt be responsible for at federal sentencing?

Where can Jeff be tried in federal court? Nebraska? Delaware? Virginia? Pennsylvania?

Where can Adam be tried in federal court? Nebraska? Delaware? Virginia? Pennsylvania?

Where can Matt be tried in federal court? Nebraska? Delaware? Virginia? Pennsylvania?

1 Answer


Answered on: 9/20/13, 11:51 am by William Welch

Pursuant to the Pinkerton case each defendant is personally responsible for everything he or she does and for everything that every other conspirator does after the date that the defendant joined the conspiracy, regardless of whether the defendant knew what the other conspirators were doing and regardless of whether he even knew about the other conspirators. The United States sentencing guidelines base the guideline range on what is foreseeable to the defendant. However the court made the part or very upward or downward from the guideline range.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the prosecution's case, any defenses that you might have, and any plea offer that might be made, so that you can decide whether to go to trial. Consider seeking a confidential consultation.


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William L. Welch, III Attorney 111 South Calvert Street, Suite 2700 Baltimore, MD 21202

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