295 F.2d 179 (D.C. Cir. 1961), 16294, Fletcher v. United States

Docket Nº:16294.
Citation:295 F.2d 179
Party Name:George FLETCHER, Appellant, v. sUNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:September 29, 1961
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Page 179

295 F.2d 179 (D.C. Cir. 1961)

George FLETCHER, Appellant,


sUNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 16294.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

Sept. 29, 1961

Argued June 26, 1961.

Page 180

Mr. Gerhard P. Van Arkel, Washington, D.C. (appointed by the District Court) for appellant.

Mr. Frank Q. Nebeker, Asst. U.S. Atty., with whom Messrs. David C. Acheson, U.S. Atty., and Charles T. Duncan, Asst. U.S. Atty., were on the brief, for appellee. Mr. Daniel J. McTague, Asst. U.S. Atty., also entered an appearance for appellee.

Before WILBUR K. MILLER, Chief Judge, and EDGERTON and BASTIAN, Circuit Judges.

BASTIAN, Circuit Judge.

Appellant was indicted, tried before the court sitting without a jury, and convicted of violation of the narcotics laws. He raises the defense of entrapment. We find no merit in this claim.

The principal witness against appellant was Officer Hutcheson, a member of the Metropolitan Police Department attached to the Narcotics Squad and working in the capacity of undercover man in the illicit drug traffic in the District of Columbia. He was working under the supervision of two other officers of the Narcotics Squad.

On July 25, 1960, Hutcheson met one Burnett, a special employee of the Police Department, who had worked with him on five or six occasions prior thereto. They went to the area of 6th and Q Streets, N.W., where Hutcheson made the usual search to ascertain that Burnett had no cash or narcotics on his person and then gave him $6.00 for the purchase of narcotics, which Burnett said he could purchase from appellant. Burnett then walked, approximately thirty-five paces in front of Hutcheson, to 638 Q Street, N.W., where Fletcher lived. Noticing that Fletcher was seated across the street with another man, one Colbert, Burnett crossed the street and had conversation with them, in the sight of Hutcheson but beyound his hearing. Burnett gave Colbert the money which had been given him by Hutcheson. Colbert turned the money over to Fletcher, who then gave him a package, which he, in turn gave to Burnett. All of this was observed by the police officer, who immediately received the package from Burnett. Appellant does not challenge that the package was found to contain narcotics.

Later, on the affidavits of Hutcheson and Burnett, a search warrant was obtained for Fletcher's premises, and on these premises were found narcotics, needles and syringes.

Although Burnett was known to appellant, as well as to the Government, he was not called as a witness by either side. His testimony was not essential to prove the...

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