U.S. v. Maybusher, 83-5040

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Citation735 F.2d 366
Docket NumberNo. 83-5040,83-5040
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Frank J. MAYBUSHER, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date15 June 1984

Daniel J. Broderick, Asst. U.S. Atty., Los Angeles, Cal., for plaintiff-appellee.

Thomas J. Lannen, Deputy Federal Public Defender, Los Angeles, Cal., for defendant-appellant.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Before ALARCON and NORRIS, Circuit Judges, and EAST, * District Judge.

EAST, District Judge:

Frank J. Maybusher appeals from the District Court judgment of conviction entered on January 17, 1976, for possession with intent to distribute approximately 11,000 pounds of marijuana, a schedule one controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841(a)(1). We note jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1291, and affirm.


Because of various incidents occurring in and around the Oxnard, California, marina areas during the early part of January, 1976, customs officials became aware of marijuana smuggling operations in that location. Based on specific information provided by a Newport yacht salesman concerning One of the arrestees, Steven Smith, was later interviewed by Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents and Ventura County Sheriffs. Smith voluntarily confessed his involvement in the smuggling operation and told the officers that five tons of marijuana could be found in a fishing trawler named the Red Baron at the Coast Guard dock. Included in Smith's description of the Red Baron was the fact that the outside of its hull was painted red. Subsequent investigation that day revealed that a vessel fitting Smith's description of the Red Baron had left the Port Hueneme area some thirty minutes earlier and had headed for open water in a northwesterly direction. The officers then boarded a California Fish and Game Department vessel, and went to locate the Red Baron approximately five miles out to sea.

the recent purchase of two Skipjack boats, the police began surveillance of a particular Oxnard residence. The officers' continued observation of the Oxnard residence revealed frequent departures of the Skipjack boats and other vehicles from the house to the nearby marina. These observations led to the arrest of several persons for possession and smuggling of marijuana. During the related seizure of several hundred pounds of marijuana from a craft the arrestees had towed to a warehouse in Ventura, a customs officer noticed a red paint transfer running along the side on one of the Skipjacks. To the officer, the red paint transfer mark indicated that the Skipjack had rubbed against a red vessel.

Maybusher was in the wheelhouse steering the Red Baron when a sheriff's helicopter was first to approach the vessel. By use of a bullhorn from the helicopter, the Red Baron was ordered to halt its present course, and for all the occupants to make themselves visible on the rear deck. Maybusher brought the vessel to a slow. The Fish and Game Department vessel "Yellowtail" came alongside the Red Baron. Officers on the Yellowtail had seen the name "Red Baron" on the stern of the boat as they approached. An officer ordered the visible occupants of the vessel to lay down on the after deck, and the Red Baron was boarded. The officers were visibly armed, as was an officer in the helicopter. One officer then asked if there were any other persons on board. Maybusher indicated there were not, and then spontaneously stated that "there is not going to be any trouble, all we got is weed aboard." Thereafter, a large quantity of marijuana and three guns were located and seized aboard the Red Baron. At that time Maybusher was placed under arrest. No search warrant or arrest warrant was obtained prior to the stop of the Red Baron.

Maybusher was indicted on February 6, 1976, and arraigned in the District Court on March 1. One week before trial, Maybusher and his eleven co-defendants filed a motion to suppress the marijuana seized. This motion was granted and the indictment was dismissed. The Government's motion for reconsideration of the order granting the defendants' motion to suppress and dismissing the indictment was denied by the court on the ground that it lacked jurisdiction to reconsider its order. In United States v. Emens, 565 F.2d 1142 (9th Cir.1977) (Emens I ), this court disagreed and remanded the cause to the District Court for further consideration. The District Court subsequently vacated its dismissal and suppression order. The indictment was reinstated. Three of Maybusher's co-defendants were rearrested, tried and convicted after a new motion to suppress the seized marijuana was denied. The co-defendants appealed their convictions on the ground that the District Court erroneously denied their motion to suppress. This court held in part that the search of the Red Baron was illegal and therefore the motion to suppress should have been granted. United States v. Emens, 649 F.2d 653, 657-58 (9th Cir.1980) (Emens II ). Maybusher had moved to the state of Washington during pendency of the appeal (Emens I ), and was not rearrested and made to stand trial on the original charges along with his co-defendants.

In late November, 1982, Maybusher was rearrested in Washington, and was arraigned on the reinstated indictment on December

8 in the Central District of California. Since the judge to whom the case had been assigned was unavailable, the arraignment and appointment of a Federal Public Defender on December 8 occurred before a substituting judge. The matter was continued until December 13, 1982, at which time the assigned judge set a trial date appearance with counsel. Maybusher requested at this time that the trial be set at least thirty days from his first appearance with counsel. The request was denied. Prior to trial, Maybusher's motion to suppress was denied. On January 4, 1983, the matter proceeded to trial before the court on stipulated facts, and Maybusher was convicted of possession with intent to distribute a schedule one controlled substance. 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841(a)(1). This appeal followed.


The basis on which appellant seeks reversal of his conviction is threefold. First, Maybusher contends denial of his motion for a continuance resulted in a violation of the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3161 et seq., and his Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel. Second, Maybusher argues that Emens II is the law of the case and requires that the seized marijuana from the Red Baron be suppressed. Third, and lastly, Maybusher contends that even if Emens II is not law of the case, the search and seizure of the Red Baron fails to pass muster under the Fourth Amendment. We find all three contentions unmeritorious.

I. Speedy Trial

Maybusher first contends that in denying his motion for a continuance, the District Court violated the Speedy Trial Act (Act). 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3161 et seq. Specifically, the appellant argues that the Act required a thirty-day minimum period between his first appearance on the reinstated indictment and his trial. We disagree.

The circumstances of the appellant's reindictment and trial fall within subsection (d)(2) of Section 3161 (Supp.1983). This subsection applies when the defendant is to be tried upon an indictment dismissed by a trial court and reinstated following an appeal. Unlike other subsections of the statute which deal with different procedural situations involving a defendant's indictment and trial, subsection (d)(2) does not specifically require that the trial be delayed a minimum of thirty days from the time of the defendant's first appearance with counsel, or from his waiver of counsel and election to proceed pro se. See Section 3161(c)(2) (Supp.1983) (thirty-day delay in commencement of trial required after defendant's initial appearance with counsel when defendant is tried on indictment that has not been dismissed); Section 3161(d)(1) (defendant entitled to thirty-day delay after refiling of an indictment that is identical to one dismissed on motion of defendant). Since Congress, in enacting the Speedy Trial Act, chose not to afford a defendant a thirty-day delay in the commencement of trial when he is reindicted after the indictment was dismissed and reinstated following an appeal, we cannot do so here. We conclude that Maybusher was not entitled to a thirty-day delay in the commencement of his trial. Therefore, the District Court did not violate the Speedy Trial Act by scheduling his trial for twenty-seven days after his appearance with counsel on the reinstated indictment.

Maybusher also contends that the District Court's denial of his motion for a continuance violated his Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel. The granting of a continuance is within the discretion of the District Court and an order denying a continuance will not be reversed unless there is a clear abuse of discretion. United States v. Nolan, 700 F.2d 479, 482 (9th Cir.1983), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 103 S.Ct. 3095, 77 L.Ed.2d 1354 (1983). Furthermore, actual prejudice must be shown before the denial of a continuance will be reversed. United States v. Hernandez, 608 F.2d 741, 746 (9th Cir.1979).

Maybusher has failed to show that he suffered any specific prejudice in having twenty-seven rather than thirty days to prepare for trial. He refers neither to an inability to collect evidence nor to difficulty in locating witnesses. We are satisfied that the District Court's denial of appellant's motion for a continuance was neither an abuse of discretion nor a violation of the Sixth Amendment.

II. Law of the Case

Maybusher asserts that Emens II is law of this case and requires that the marijuana seized on the Red Baron be suppressed. Again, we cannot agree.

The doctrine of law of the case concerns the continued application of a rule of law previously determined in that same case. Messinger v....

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