572 F.2d 1316 (9th Cir. 1978), 77-2271, United States v. Prairie

Docket Nº:77-2271.
Citation:572 F.2d 1316
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Dale H. PRAIRIE, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:February 01, 1978
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 1316

572 F.2d 1316 (9th Cir. 1978)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Dale H. PRAIRIE, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 77-2271.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

February 1, 1978

Rehearing En Banc Denied April 10, 1978.

Page 1317

Lee Petersen, of Gregg, Fraties, Petersen, Page & Baxter, Anchorage, Alaska, for defendant-appellant.

Nelson P. Cohen, Asst. U. S. Atty., Anchorage, Alaska, for plaintiff-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Alaska.

Before KILKENNY and WALLACE, Circuit Judges, and PALMIERI, [*] District Judge.

Page 1318

WALLACE, Circuit Judge:

Prairie appeals from a two-count conviction for distribution of a controlled substance (cocaine) in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841. We affirm.

I.

Prairie was employed as a cab driver in Anchorage, Alaska. In late November 1976, Prairie accompanied Boles, a fellow cab driver, to a motel room where Cayton was staying. The purpose of the visit was to collect money owed by Cayton to Boles as a result of prior drug transactions. Prairie was unaware that Cayton had been a paid government informant, and that state drug enforcement officers were paying Cayton's rent and food expenditures from money owed to her in return for her participation in several recent drug cases.

A few days later Boles told Prairie that Cayton wanted to purchase some cocaine. Without further encouragement, Prairie purchased a gram of cocaine and took it to Cayton's room. Cayton informed Prairie that she only had $50 and therefore could not purchase the entire gram. Prairie sold Cayton half of the gram and left. Later that day, Cayton telephoned Prairie and persuaded him to bring her the remaining half-gram of cocaine upon her representation that she would pay him the following day. During the ensuing days, Prairie and Cayton saw each other frequently, and Prairie continued to supply Cayton with cocaine.

On November 26, 1976 Cayton telephoned Grimes, a state drug enforcement officer, and informed him that she knew a taxicab driver who was willing to sell cocaine. Grimes requested that Cayton arrange a meeting between him and Prairie. The meeting was arranged and Grimes and Prairie met later that day at Cayton's motel room. Officer Grimes was equipped with a miniature transmitter which allowed other officers to tape record the conversation. Prairie told Officer Grimes about his extensive experience in drug transactions and they discussed the creation of a cocaine-distribution operation. No drugs were purchased on this occasion, but Prairie agreed to sell Grimes a cocaine "sample" at a later time.

Officer Grimes and Prairie met again on December 2 in Cayton's motel room. During this meeting Prairie sold Grimes one gram of cocaine. In addition, they discussed the creation of the cocaine-distribution plan.

During the last...

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