55 F.3d 254 (7th Cir. 1995), 94-2379, United States v. Curley

Docket Nº:94-2379.
Citation:55 F.3d 254
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Robert W. CURLEY, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:May 12, 1995
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 254

55 F.3d 254 (7th Cir. 1995)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Robert W. CURLEY, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 94-2379.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

May 12, 1995

Argued Feb. 24, 1995.

Page 255

Steven Pray O'Connor, Asst. U.S. Atty., Madison, WI (argued), for U.S.

William J. Stevens (argued), Barry D. Sheppard, Chicago, IL, for Robert W. Curley.

Before POSNER, Chief Judge, and BAUER and ROVNER, Circuit Judges.

BAUER, Circuit Judge.

A jury convicted Robert Curley of conspiring to possess marijuana with intent to distribute it, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Secs. 841(a)(1), 846. For this offense, the district court sentenced Curley to ninety-two months in the penitentiary and fined him $12,500. On appeal, Curley makes a number of challenges with respect to his conviction and sentence. Finding none of the challenges meritorious, we affirm.

During the summer of 1988, Damien Connolly, an acquaintance of Curley's, sought to smuggle marijuana from Jamaica to the United States with the intention of selling it in southern Wisconsin. Connolly enlisted Curley's assistance to accomplish his objective; Curley had apparently supplied Connolly with marijuana previously. Curley then arranged for contacts in Jamaica to supply the quantity of marijuana Connolly sought.

In July 1988, Connolly, Curley, and others met in Jamaica and arranged to smuggle the marijuana to the United States. During the course of making these arrangements, Connolly called his girlfriend (now his estranged wife), Dawn Rexroate, and ordered her to fly to Jamaica with the $40,000 necessary for a down payment on the marijuana; Rexroate did so. While in Jamaica, Rexroate stayed with Connolly, who shared a two-bedroom suite with Curley. Rexroate and Connolly socialized with Curley and other members of the conspiracy during their stay in Jamaica. Connolly also told Rexroate that Curley was responsible for procuring the marijuana.

Curley arranged for his contacts to deliver the marijuana to a boat, which then sailed to the United States. It is not clear whether Curley also arranged for the boat and its crew or simply established the source of the marijuana and had it put aboard the boat. The boat was sailed to Beaufort, North Carolina, where Connolly and a friend, Mark Dorman, transferred the marijuana to a recreational vehicle belonging to Connolly. From there, two men who had previously participated in Connolly's drug operations, Tom Morgan and David Van Arsdale, drove the vehicle to Madison, Wisconsin, on August 11, 1988.

On that day, Curley, with an Uzi sub-machine gun and a black Jamaican man (nick)named Wrench, went to Tom Morgan's house to demand payment from Connolly. Curley gave Connolly until 1:00 PM the next day to satisfy the debt. Connolly gathered

Page 256

the funds necessary to satisfy his debt and on August 12, 1988, ordered Rexroate to drive Van Arsdale to Connolly's brother's apartment to deliver the payment to Curley. While there, Van Arsdale saw Curley count the money. Curley then separated out several bundles of bills and said: "This is for me." Curley put his share in a duffel bag, which also contained a pistol.

Later that month, Curley visited Connolly and Rexroate at their home and discussed the transaction. Curley explained his hostile and threatening demand for payment as "a show for the Jamaicans." At this meeting, Connolly boasted to Rexroate that he and Curley had realized $100,000 as a result of their marijuana transaction.


To continue reading