970 F.2d 439 (8th Cir. 1992), 91-3865, United States v. Nelson

Docket Nº:91-3865.
Citation:970 F.2d 439
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Raymond James NELSON, Appellant.
Case Date:July 15, 1992
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 439

970 F.2d 439 (8th Cir. 1992)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,


Raymond James NELSON, Appellant.

No. 91-3865.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 15, 1992

Submitted May 14, 1992.

Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc

Denied Aug. 19, 1992.

Page 440

Thomas O'Flaherty, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, argued, for appellant.

Kandice A. Wilcox, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, argued, for appellee.

Before BOWMAN and BEAM, Circuit Judges, and LARSON, [*] Senior District Judge.

Page 441

LARSON, Senior District Judge.

Raymond James Nelson appeals his four convictions for distribution of and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine. Nelson alleges that the prosecutor violated due process and violated the Jencks Act by withholding evidence until after trial, and that the district court 1 erred in refusing to allow post-trial evidence that prosecution witnesses committed perjury at trial. Nelson also contends that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury verdict on all counts. We affirm.


The government presented four witnesses to establish its case. The witnesses were James Knock and Claude Miller, both immunized from prosecution, and two police officers. The defense did not call any witnesses. Prosecution witness James Knock entered into a plea agreement, pleading guilty to drug trafficking and agreeing to cooperate with the government. In March, May, and June of 1992, Knock made controlled purchases of cocaine and methamphetamine from Nelson. In each instance, Knock first met with federal agents who searched Knock and his vehicle, gave Knock money with which to purchase controlled substances, and fitted Knock with an electronic listening device. On each occasion, Knock was followed by agents as he went directly to Nelson's home and purchased controlled substances. Immediately after leaving Nelson's home, Knock gave the substances and the remaining money to the agents. No audio tapes were offered by the government at trial because of poor sound quality. Testimony was offered at trial that surveillance officers, parked approximately one half mile from Nelson's home, found it difficult to understand Knock and Nelson's conversations over the listening device, and found it difficult to watch Knock's actions after his vehicle entered Nelson's yard.

At trial, the defense requested, pursuant to the Jencks Act, all statements previously made by Knock. On cross-examination Knock admitted to drug dealing activities, engaging in extensive deceit in furtherance of those activities, cooperating with the government in order to avoid prison, personal drug use in violation of his plea agreement, and failing to report income from the sale of drugs on his income tax forms. Upon further inquiry into the plea agreement, Knock indicated that he had taken a polygraph test. At a side bar conference the prosecutor stated that he was unaware of any such test, but was willing to search the files for further information. Defense counsel did not pursue the matter further. After trial, a police report summarizing...

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