224 F.2d 742 (9th Cir. 1955), 14395, Toliver v. United States

Docket Nº:14395.
Citation:224 F.2d 742
Party Name:Charles E. TOLIVER, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:July 26, 1955
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 742

224 F.2d 742 (9th Cir. 1955)

Charles E. TOLIVER, Appellant,

v.

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 14395.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

July 26, 1955

Page 743

Leslie C. Gillen, Gregory S. Stout, San Francisco, Cal., for appellant.

Lloyd H. Burke, U.S. Atty., John H. Riordan, Jr., Richard H. Foster, Asst. U.S. Attys., San Francisco, Cal., for appellee.

Before DENMAN, Chief Judge, ORR, Circuit Judge, and JAMES M. CARTER, District Judge.

JAMES M. CARTER, District Judge.

The appeal raises two principle questions: First, one of identity of offenses, whether appellant could properly be convicted for both the violation of the narcotic laws of the United States, and conspiring to violate the narcotic laws of the United States; and Second, whether sufficient evidence was introduced by the government to sustain the conviction under counts Three and Four of the indictment.

Appellant, Charles C. Toliver, was indicted on November 18, 1953, for the violation of the narcotic laws of the United States, and for conspiring to violate such laws. The first count charged appellant with violation of the Harrison Narcotic Act, Title 26 U.S.C.A., §§ 2553 and 2557, alleged to have been committed March 7, 1953; the second count was dismissed at the conclusion of the government's case and thus does not concern us here; the third and fourth counts charged appellant with violations of the Harrison Narcotic Act, Title 26 U.S.C.A. §§ 2553 and 2557 and the Jones-Miller Act, Title 21 U.S.C.A. § 174, respectively, alleged to have been committed 'on or about the 18th day of January 1952;' the fifth and final count charged appellant with conspiring to violate the narcotic laws of the United States in violation of Title 18 U.S.C.A. § 371, with overt acts alleged to have occurred on March 7, 1953 and March 11, 1953. Appellant was convicted by jury verdict on these four counts and was sentenced by final judgment made and entered on March 26, 1954, to four years imprisonment and fined $1.00 on each count. The sentences of four years on Counts One and Three were to run concurrently; the sentences on Counts Four and Five were to run concurrently but consecutively with the sentences imposed on Counts One and Three. Due to the manner of sentencing, the judgment must stand if this Court affirms the conviction of Counts One or Three, and Four or Five. Kramer v. United States, 9 Cir., 1945, 147 F.2d 202.

Appellant raises no issue on appeal as to Count One. The sentence on Count Three was concurrent therewith. There remains only a question of validity as to the convictions under Counts Four and Five.

Identity of Offenses

Appellant contends that the lower court erred in not striking from Count Five of the indictment, the overt act of March 11, 1953, inasmuch as such act was established by the evidence to be an act subsequent to an effective withdrawal

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from the conspiracy, if one existed. With the deletion of such overt act, appellant submits that the conspiracy charged in Count Five and the substantive crime charged in Count One constitute one and the same offense for which appellant is here being twice punished.

Even assuming arguendo that the act of March 11, 1953, was after an effective withdrawal from the conspiracy, this would still leave the overt act of March 7, 1953 as part of Count Five, charging the conspiracy. There is no merit in appellant's contention that the conspiracy alleging an overt act on March 7, 1953, and the substantive violation of March 7, 1953 were identical offenses. The gist of the offense of conspiracy is the unlawful agreement. Braverman v. United States, 1942, 317 U.S. 49, 63 S.Ct. 99, 87 L.Ed. 23; Marino v. United States, 9 Cir., 1937, 91 F.2d 691, 113 A.L.R. 975; Takahashi v. United States, 9 Cir., 1944, 143 F.2d 118. It has long been recognized by the Federal Courts, that the commission of the substantive offense and the conspiracy to commit such are separate and distinct offenses. Pereira v. United States, 1954, 347 U.S. 1, 74 S.Ct. 358, 98 L.Ed. 435; Pinkerton v. United States, 1945, 328 U.S. 640, 66 S.Ct. 1180, 90 L.Ed. 1489; United States v. Rabinowich, 1915, 238 U.S. 78, 35 S.Ct. 682, 59 L.Ed. 1211; Blumenthal v. United...

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