471 U.S. 773 (1985), 83-1842, Garrett v. United States

Docket Nº:No. 83-1842
Citation:471 U.S. 773, 105 S.Ct. 2407, 85 L.Ed.2d 764, 53 U.S.L.W. 4629
Party Name:Garrett v. United States
Case Date:June 03, 1985
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 773

471 U.S. 773 (1985)

105 S.Ct. 2407, 85 L.Ed.2d 764, 53 U.S.L.W. 4629

Garrett

v.

United States

No. 83-1842

United States Supreme Court

June 3, 1985

Argued January 16, 1985

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT

Syllabus

In March, 1981, petitioner was charged in a multicount indictment in the Western District of Washington for his role in the off-loading and landing of marihuana from a "mother ship" at a Washington location on specified days in October, 1979, and August, 1980. He pleaded guilty to one count of importation of marihuana and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment and a $15,000 fine. The remaining counts were dismissed without prejudice to the Government's right to prosecute petitioner on any other offenses he might have committed. Thereafter, in July, 1981, petitioner was indicted in the Northern District of Florida on several drug counts, including a count for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise (CCE) from January, 1976, to July, 1981, in violation of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, 21 U.S.C. 848. The District Court denied petitioner's pretrial motion to dismiss the CCE charge on the asserted ground that it encompassed the Washington importation operation in violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. At trial, evidence underlying petitioner's prior conviction was introduced to prove one of three predicate offenses that must be shown to make out a CCE violation, and petitioner was convicted on the CCE count and on other counts. He was sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment and a $100,000 fine on the CCE count, the prison term being concurrent with the prison terms on the other counts but consecutive to the prison term from the Washington conviction. Rejecting petitioner's contention that his Washington conviction barred the subsequent CCE prosecution in Florida, the Court of Appeals held that the Washington offense and the CCE offense were not the same under the Double Jeopardy Clause, and hence that successive prosecutions and cumulative sentences for these offenses were permissible.

[105 S.Ct. 2409] Held:

1. The language, structure, and legislative history of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 show that Congress intended the CCE offense to be a separate offense that is punishable in addition to, and not as a substitute for, the predicate offenses. It would be illogical for Congress to intend that a choice be made between the predicate offenses and the CCE offense in pursuing major drug dealers. Pp. 777-786.

Page 774

2. It did not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause to prosecute the CCE offense after the prior conviction for one of the predicate offenses. The CCE offense is not the "same" offense as one or more of its predicate offenses within the meaning of that Clause. Nor was the Washington offense a "lesser included" offense of the CCE offense. Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161, distinguished. The conduct with which petitioner was charged in Florida, when compared with that with which he was charged in Washington, does not lend itself to the simple analogy of a single course of conduct comprising a lesser included misdemeanor within a felony. The CCE was alleged to have spanned more than five years, whereas the acts charged in Washington were alleged to have occurred on single days in 1979 and 1980. But even assuming that the Washington offense was a lesser included offense, petitioner's double jeopardy claim is not sustainable. The CCE charge in Florida had not been completed at the time the Washington indictment was returned, and evidence of the importation in Washington could be used to show one of the predicate offenses. Diaz v. United States, 223 U.S. 442. Pp. 786-793.

3. The Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar the cumulative punishments. The presumption when Congress creates two distinct defenses, as it did here, is that it intended to permit cumulative sentences. To disallow cumulative sentences would have the anomalous effect in many cases of converting into ceilings the large fines provided by 21 U.S.C. § 848 to deprive big-time drug dealers of their enormous profits. Logic, as well as the legislative history, supports the conclusion that Congress intended separate punishments for the underlying substantive predicate offenses and for the CCE offense. Pp. 793-795.

727 F.2d 1003, affirmed.

REHNQUIST, J., delivered the opinion of the Court in which BURGER, C.J., and WHITE, BLACKMUN, and O'CONNOR, JJ., joined. O'CONNOR, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 795. STEVENS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BRENNAN and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 799. POWELL, J., took no part in the decision of the case.

Page 775

REHNQUIST, J., lead opinion

JUSTICE REHNQUIST, delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case requires us to examine the double jeopardy implications of a prosecution for engaging in a "continuing criminal enterprise" (CCE), in violation of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, 21 U.S.C. § 848, when facts underlying a prior conviction are offered to prove one of three predicate offenses that must be shown to make out a CCE violation. Petitioner Jonathan Garrett contends that his prior conviction is a lesser included offense of the CCE charge, and, therefore, that the CCE prosecution is barred under Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161 (1977).

Between 1976 and 1981, Garrett directed an extensive marihuana importation and distribution operation involving offloading, transporting, and storing boatloads of marihuana. These activities and related meetings and telephone calls occurred in several States, including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, and Washington.

In March, 1981, Garrett was charged in three substantive counts of an indictment in the Western District of Washington for his role in the off-loading and landing of approximately 12,000 pounds of marihuana from a "mother ship" at Neah Bay, Washington. He was named as a coconspirator, but not indicted, in a fourth count charging conspiracy to import marihuana. Having learned that he was being investigated [105 S.Ct. 2410] on CCE charges in Florida, Garrett moved to consolidate in the Washington proceedings "all charges anticipated, investigated and currently pending against [him]." The Government opposed the motion on the ground that no other charges had then been filed against Garrett, and the District Court denied it.

Garrett pleaded guilty to one count of importation of marihuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 952, 960(a)(1), 960(b)(2) and 18 U.S.C. § 2. He was sentenced to five years' imprisonment and a $15,000 fine; and the remaining counts against him, including possession of marihuana with intent to distribute,

Page 776

were dismissed without prejudice to the Government's right to prosecute him on any other offenses he may have committed.

Approximately two months after his guilty plea in Washington, Garrett was indicted in the Northern District of Florida for conspiring to import marihuana, 21 U.S.C. §§ 952, 960, 963, conspiring to possess marihuana with intent to distribute, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841, 846, using a telephone to facilitate illegal drug activities, 21 U.S.C. §§ 963, 846, 843(b), and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, 21 U.S.C. § 848. The District Court denied Garrett's pretrial motion to dismiss the CCE charge, made on the ground that it encompassed the Washington importation operation in violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause.

In the Florida trial, the Government introduced extensive evidence of Garrett's ongoing and widespread drug activities, including proof of the marihuana smuggling operation at Neah Bay, Washington. The court instructed the jury on the CCE count that it had to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Garrett had committed "a felony under Title 21 of the United States Code" that "was a part of a continuing series of violations," defined to be "three or more successive violations of Title 21 over a definite period of time with a single or substantially similar purpose." The court further instructed the jury that it had to find that Garrett acted "in concert with five or more other persons," that, with respect to them, Garrett occupied "a position of organizer, supervisor, or any position of management," and that he "received substantial income from this operation." As to the predicate violations making up the "series," the court instructed the jury that, in addition to the offenses charged as substantive counts in the Florida indictment, the felony offenses of possession of marihuana with intent to distribute it, distribution of marihuana, and importation of marihuana would qualify as predicate offenses. 14 Record 16-20. The Washington evidence, as

Page 777

well as other evidence introduced in the Florida trial, tended to prove these latter three offenses.

The jury convicted Garrett on the CCE count, the two conspiracy counts, and the telephone facilitation count. He received consecutive prison terms totaling 14 years and a $45,000 fine on the latter three counts, and 40 years' imprisonment and a $100,000 fine on the CCE count. The CCE prison term was made concurrent with the prison terms on the other counts, but consecutive to the prison term from the Washington conviction. The CCE fine was in addition to the fine on the other counts and the Washington fine.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejected Garrett's contention that his conviction in Washington for importing marihuana barred the subsequent prosecution in Florida for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. 727 F.2d 1003 (1984). The court held that the Washington importation offense and the...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP