U.S. v. Guthrie

Decision Date14 May 1986
Docket NumberNo. 84-4830,84-4830
Citation789 F.2d 356
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Raymond L. GUTHRIE, Jr., a/k/a Junior Guthrie, and Walter Graham Lewis, Defendants-Appellants.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit

D.H. Perkins, Jr., Asst. U.S. Atty., Joseph S. Cage, Jr., U.S. Atty., Shreveport, La., Howard Cobb Parker, Asst. U.S. Atty., Lafayette, La., for plaintiff-appellee.

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Before GEE, RUBIN, and DAVIS, Circuit Judges.

GEE, Circuit Judge:

In February 1984, a United States Grand Jury in the Western District of Louisiana returned a four-count indictment against Walter Lewis and Raymond Guthrie. That indictment charged Lewis and Guthrie with importation of marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sec. 952, and possession of marijuana with an intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841(a)(1). These charges stemmed from an alleged smuggling episode in Morgan City, Louisiana, aboard the vessel Miss Clarice between February 1 and April 15, 1979.

Lewis and Guthrie pled not guilty and later moved to quash the indictment on multiple grounds, but this motion was denied by the district court. Lewis and Guthrie now appeal that decision.


In 1983, Lewis was charged by a United States Grand Jury in the Northern District of Florida with conspiracy to possess marijuana with an intent to distribute, as well as conspiracy to import marijuana. In response to a motion for a bill of particulars, the government cited the following episode:

The importation, possession, and distribution of a multi-ton load of marijuana in the Morgan City area of Louisiana on or about April [sic] of 1979. This marijuana is believed to have been transported to the United States in the vessel "Miss Clarice."

There were no substantive charges for this episode, however. Following a trial, Lewis was found guilty of both conspiracy charges.

Lewis argues that his present indictment for the substantive offenses in the Morgan City smuggling episode was barred by the Constitution's prohibition of double jeopardy 1 since he had already been prosecuted for conspiracy for the same offense in Florida. This contention is meritless. It is firmly established that the offenses of conspiracy to commit a crime and the crime itself are separate, and a prosecution for the former does not bar a later prosecution for the latter. United States v. Kalish, 734 F.2d 194, 199 (5th Cir.1984). 2


The Florida grand jury which indicted Lewis also indicted Raymond Guthrie on two counts of conspiracy, and Guthrie, like Lewis, was found guilty of those charges. The Florida grand jury additionally indicted Guthrie for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sec. 848, but he was acquitted of this charge. At trial, the government introduced evidence of several smuggling episodes--including the one in Morgan City in 1979--to prove the continuing criminal enterprise charge. Guthrie argues that his present indictment in the Western District of Louisiana for the substantive offenses stemming from the Morgan City episode should be dismissed on grounds both of double jeopardy and prosecutorial misconduct. We consider each of these arguments in turn.

A. Double Jeopardy

Where the same conduct violates two statutory provisions, the first step in a double jeopardy analysis is to determine whether Congress intended that each violation be a separate offense. Garrett v. United States, --- U.S. ----, ---, 105 S.Ct. 2407, 2411, 85 L.Ed.2d 764, 771 (1985). "If Congress intended that there be only one offense--that is, defendant could be convicted under either statutory provision for a single act, but not under both--there would be no statutory authorization for a subsequent prosecution after conviction of one of the two provisions, and that would end the double jeopardy analysis." Id.

In United States v. Chagra, 669 F.2d 241, 261-262 (5th Cir.1982), we held that Congress intended to prevent cumulative penalties for a continuing criminal enterprise violation and its predicate offenses. Citing Chagra, we have since held that the predicate offenses underlying a Sec. 848 continuing criminal enterprise violation are lesser included offenses of the continuing criminal enterprise that cannot support a separate conviction or sentence. United States v. Oberski, 734 F.2d 1030, 1032 (5th Cir.1984).

Very recently, however, the Supreme Court squarely rejected the rationale of Chagra. In Garrett v. United States, supra, the defendant challenged on double jeopardy grounds a continuing criminal enterprise prosecution which charged predicate offenses that occurred between 1976 and 1981. The defendant had been previously convicted of one of those predicate offenses, a Washington state episode which took place in 1979 and 1980. The Court 3 declared that:

[T]he language, structure, and legislative history of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse, Prevention and Control Act of 1970, however, show in the plainest way that Congress intended the CCE provision to be a separate criminal offense which was punishable in addition to, and not as a substitute for, the predicate offenses. --- U.S. at ---, 105 S.Ct. at 2412, 81 L.Ed.2d at 772.

In view of this unequivocal statement by the Court, it is clear to us that our language to the contrary in Chagra has been disapproved. Hence, our holding in Oberski, supra--that the predicate offense of a continuing criminal enterprise violation is a lesser included offense--which relied upon the language in question in Chagra must be viewed as disapproved as well.

After concluding in Garrett that Congress intended to permit prosecution for both the predicate offenses and the continuing criminal enterprise offense, the Supreme Court undertook the second step of a double jeopardy analysis. That step is a determination whether a continuing criminal enterprise offense is considered the "same offense" as one or more of its predicate offenses within the meaning of the Double Jeopardy Clause. --- U.S. at ---, 105 S.Ct. at 2415, 85 L.Ed.2d at 776. The Court noted:

Quite obviously, the continuing criminal enterprise offense is not, in any common sense or literal meaning of the term, the "same" offense as one of the predicate offenses. The CCE offense requires the jury to find that the defendant committed a predicate offense, and in addition that the predicate offense was part of a continuing series of predicate offenses undertaken by the defendant in concert with five or more other persons, that the defendant occupied the position of an organizer or manager, and that the defendant obtained substantial income or resources from the continuing series of violations. Id.

The Court then considered whether the predicate offenses of a continuing criminal enterprise violation are lesser included offenses of the latter. The Court distinguished Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161, 97 S.Ct. 2221, 53 L.Ed.2d 187 (1977), wherein it was held that where the misdemeanor of joyriding was a lesser included offense of felony auto theft, a prosecution for the misdemeanor barred a second prosecution for the felony. The Court explained:

The defendant in Brown had stolen an automobile and driven it for several days. He had engaged in a single course of conduct--driving a stolen car. The very same conduct would support a misdemeanor prosecution for joyriding or a felony prosecution for auto theft, depending only on the defendant's state of mind while he engaged in the conduct in question. Every moment of his conduct was as relevant to the joyriding charge as it was to the auto theft charge. --- U.S. at ---, 105 S.Ct. at 2416, 85 L.Ed.2d at 777.

But on the facts before it, the Court observed, "the situation is quite different." Id. The Court noted that the continuing criminal enterprise indictment charged several predicate offenses which occurred between 1976 and 1981, while the predicate offense for which the defendant had been previously convicted took place in 1979 and 1980. And thus, the Court reasoned:

Obviously the conduct in which Garrett was charged with engaging in the Florida indictment, when compared with that with which he was charged in the Washington indictment, does not lend itself to the simple analogy of a single course of conduct--stealing a car--comprising a lesser included misdemeanor within a felony. Here the continuing criminal enterprise was alleged to have spanned more than five years; the acts charged in the Washington indictment were alleged to have occurred on single days in 1979 and 1980, respectively. Whenever it was during the five-and-one-half-year period alleged in the indictment that Garrett committed the first of the three predicate offenses required to form the basis for a continuing criminal enterprise prosecution, it could not then have been said with any certainty that he would necessarily go ahead and commit the other violations required to render him liable on a continuing criminal enterprise charge. Every minute that Nathaniel Brown drove or possessed the stolen automobile he was simultaneously committing both the lesser included misdemeanor and the greater felony, but the same is simply not true of Garrett. His various boat-load smuggling operations in Louisiana, for example, obviously involved incidents of conduct wholly separate from his "mother boat" operations in Washington. These significant differences caution against ready transposition of the "lesser included offense" principles of double jeopardy from the classically simple situation presented in Brown to the multi-layered conduct, both as to time and to place, involved in this case. --- U.S. at --- - ---, 105 S.Ct. at 2416-2417, 85 L.Ed.2d at 777-778 (emphasis supplied).

The Court, however, stopped just...

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    ...offenses of a CCE are not lesser-included offenses of a CCE for purposes of the double jeopardy clause. United States v. Guthrie, 789 F.2d 356, 358-59 (5th Cir. 1986) (en banc); see also United States v. Devine, 934 F.2d 1325, 1344 (5th Cir.1991); see also United States v. Deshaw, 974 F.2d ......
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