91 F.3d 1160 (8th Cir. 1996), 95-2210, United States v. Miller

Docket Nº:95-2210EA.
Citation:91 F.3d 1160
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. James Alfred MILLER, Appellant.
Case Date:August 06, 1996
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 1160

91 F.3d 1160 (8th Cir. 1996)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,

v.

James Alfred MILLER, Appellant.

No. 95-2210EA.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 6, 1996

Submitted June 10, 1996.

Rehearing and Suggestion for Rehearing En Banc Denied Sept.

17, 1996.

Page 1161

Blake Hendrix, Little Rock, AR, argued, for appellant.

Patrick Harris, Little Rock, AR, argued (Paula J. Casey, U.S. Atty., on the brief), for appellee.

Before RICHARD S. ARNOLD, Chief Judge, MORRIS SHEPPARD ARNOLD, Circuit Judge, and ROSENBAUM, [*] District Judge.

RICHARD S. ARNOLD, Chief Judge.

James Alfred Miller was convicted of three drug-related felonies and sentenced to a prison term of twenty-four years and four months. We affirm these convictions, but remand this case to the District Court for resentencing.

I.

At trial, the government introduced evidence showing that from January 1993 through April 1994, James Miller sold methamphetamine to a number of people. One of Miller's principal buyers was Don Roe, who was a drug dealer. Roe testified that he generally bought four ounces of methamphetamine at a time, at a cost of $5,000 per purchase. On two occasions, Roe purchased one-pound quantities. The defendant sometimes "fronted" these drugs, that is, he gave them to Roe and did not demand payment until a later date. Roe testified that on September 5, 1993, he and Jackie Bingham Williams went to Miller's house to buy methamphetamine. Roe took this purchase back to his home, where the police discovered it later that day.

A number of witnesses corroborated Roe's testimony. Lisa Gulledge stated that she accompanied Roe, whom she described as a well-known drug dealer, on trips to Miller's house to purchase methamphetamine. Mark Kenyon, who sold methamphetamine for Roe, testified that in early 1993, he and Roe purchased methamphetamine from Miller. Donna Carter said that she bought methamphetamine from Roe, and had seen the defendant dispense this drug to Gulledge, Kenyon, and Kathy Reeves. Also, Jackie Bingham Williams confirmed Roe's account of the events of September 5, 1993.

Two other important witnesses were Jerry Wilson and Veronica Simone. Wilson testified that, beginning in the spring of 1993, he purchased one-eighth of an ounce of methamphetamine from Miller every month. Eventually, he started buying a pound at a time. The defendant sometimes fronted these drugs to Wilson, who resold them. Veronica Simone testified that when she was seven and one-half months' pregnant, Miller sold her methamphetamine.

Page 1162

The jury convicted Miller of conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, 21 U.S.C. § 846, distributing methamphetamine, 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and distributing methamphetamine to a pregnant person, 21 U.S.C. § 861(f). Determining that Miller was the "organizer or leader of a criminal activity that involved five or more participants," U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1(a), the District Court increased Miller's base offense level by four levels and sentenced him to a prison term of twenty-four years and four months.

II.

On appeal, Miller argues that there was insufficient evidence to support...

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