United States v. Birbragher, No. 07-CR-1023-LRR.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
Writing for the CourtLinda R. Reade
Citation576 F.Supp.2d 1000
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, v. Orlando BIRBRAGHER, Marshall Neil Kanner, Douglas Willis Bouchey, Armando Angulo and Peter Colon Lopez, Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. 07-CR-1023-LRR.
Decision Date22 July 2008
576 F.Supp.2d 1000
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Orlando BIRBRAGHER, Marshall Neil Kanner, Douglas Willis Bouchey, Armando Angulo and Peter Colon Lopez, Defendants.
No. 07-CR-1023-LRR.
United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division.
July 22, 2008.

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COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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Alan S. Ross, Robbins, Tunkey, Ross, Amsel, Raben, & Waxman P.A., Miami, FL, Raphael M. Scheetz, Scheetz Law Office, Michael K. Lahammer, Lahammer Law Firm, PC, Cedar Rapids, IA, for Defendants.

Stephanie Marie Rose, Martin J. McLaughlin, Matthew J. Cole, US Attorney's

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Office, Cedar Rapids, IA, for Plaintiff.

ORDER

LINDA R. READE, Chief Judge.


 TABLE OF CONTENTS
                 I. INTRODUCTION ....................................................... 1003
                 II. RELEVANT PRIOR PROCEEDINGS.......................................... 1003
                III. PRINCIPLES OF REVIEW................................................ 1005
                 IV. FINDINGS OF FACT.................................................... 1005
                 A. Two Conspiracies................................................. 1005
                 1. Drug conspiracy............................................... 1005
                 2. Money laundering conspiracy................................... 1006
                 B. Particular Actions................................................ 1006
                 C. Jacqueline Devine................................................. 1008
                 V. ARGUMENTS............................................................ 1008
                 A. Bouchey's Motion and Kanner's Motion.............................. 1009
                 B. Bouchey's Supplement.............................................. 1010
                 C. Kanner's Supplement............................................... 1010
                 VI. ANALYSIS............................................................. 1010
                 A. Overview Of Relevant Portions Of CSA.............................. 1010
                 B. Void For Vagueness Standard....................................... 1011
                 C. CSA As Applied To Lopez........................................... 1011
                 D. CSA As Applied To Bouchey......................................... 1013
                 E. CSA As Applied To Non-Registrants................................. 1014
                 F. CSA As Applied To Internet Pharmacies............................. 1015
                 G. Rule Of Lenity.................................................... 1015
                 H. Impact of Devine's Testimony...................................... 1016
                 I. Subjective Standard Or Objective Standard......................... 1017
                VII. CONCLUSION........................................................... 1017
                
I. INTRODUCTION

The matters before the court are Defendant Douglas Willis Bouchey's "Motion to Dismiss Due to Vagueness of Statute, Administrative Regulations; Violation of Due Process" ("Bouchey's Motion") (docket no. 100), "Supplement to [Bouchey's Motion]" ("Bouchey's Supplement") (docket no. 214), Defendant Marshall Neil Kanner's "Motion to Dismiss Due to Vagueness and Violation of Due Process" ("Kanner's Motion") (docket no. 102) and "Motion to Dismiss Indictment" ("Kanner's Supplement") (docket no. 207) (collectively, "Motions").1

II. RELEVANT PRIOR PROCEEDINGS

On November 7, 2007, a grand jury returned and the government filed a thirty-one count Indictment (docket no. 2)

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against Defendant Orlando Birbragher ("Birbragher"), Marshall Neil Kanner ("Kanner"), Jack Eugene Huzl ("Huzl"), Douglas Willis Bouchey ("Bouchey"), Armando Angulo ("Angulo") and Peter Colon Lopez ("Lopez") (collectively, "the original defendants").

Count 1 charged the original defendants with Drug Conspiracy, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(D), 841(b)(1)(D)(2), 846, 856(a)(1) and 861(a)(1). Count 2 charged the original Defendants with Money Laundering Conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(a)(1)(A)(I), 1956(a)(1)(B)(I), 1956(h) and 1957.2 Counts 3, 8, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22 & 23 charged Bouchey with Distribution of a Scheduled III or IV Controlled Substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D)(1) or (2). Counts 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17 and 20 charged Huzl with the Distribution of a Scheduled III or IV Controlled Substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D)(1) or (2). Counts 24 and 25 charged Huzl with Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of a Schedule III or IV Controlled Substance to a Minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(D)(1) or (2) and 859. Counts 26, 27 and 28 charged Huzl with Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of a Schedule III Controlled Substance, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D)(1). Counts 29 and 31 charged Angulo with Distribution of a Schedule III Controlled Substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D)(1). Count 30 charged Lopez with Distribution and Attempted Distribution of a Schedule III Controlled Substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(D)(1) and 846. The Indictment also contains Forfeiture Allegations against the original defendants. Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853, 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(1) and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.2(a), the government seeks approximately $41 million from Birbragher and Kanner, $103,000 from Huzl, $4,000 from Bouchey, $240,000 from Angulo and $240,000 from Lopez.

Huzl died shortly after the Indictment. Upon suggestion of his death, the court dismissed all counts in the Indictment as to him. See Order (docket no. 51), at 1 (granting Motion to Dismiss (docket no. 47), at 1). That is, the court dismissed Counts 1 and 2 as to Huzl, and Counts 4-7, 9-12, 14, 16-17, 20 and 24-28 in their entirety. On July 11, 2008, Lopez entered a guilty plea (docket no. 244). Further, Angulo is on the lam. Only Birbragher, Kanner and Bouchey ("the moving defendants") are presently active defendants in this case.

On March 31, 2008, Bouchey filed Bouchey's Motion. On April 1, 2008, Kanner filed Kanner's Motion. On April 1, 2008, Birbragher joined Bouchey's Motion and Kanner's Motion. On April 3, 2008, Lopez joined Bouchey's Motion and Kanner's Motion. On April 17, 2008, the government filed an omnibus Resistance to Bouchey's Motion and Kanner's Motion ("Resistance to Bouchey and Kanner Motions") (docket no. 134). On May 27, 2008, Kanner filed Kanner's Supplement. On May 27, 2008, Birbragher joined Kanner's Supplement. On May 27, 2008, Bouchey joined Kanner's Supplement. On May 27, 2008, Bouchey filed Bouchey's Supplement. On May 28, 2008, Birbragher joined Bouchey's Supplement. On June 6, 2008, the government filed an omnibus Resistance to Kanner's Supplement (docket no. 219). On June 9, 2008, the government filed an omnibus Resistance

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to Bouchey's Supplement (docket no. 224). On July 9, 2008, Kanner filed a reply in support of Kanner's Supplement (docket no. 237).

The court finds a hearing on the Motions is unnecessary. The Motions are fully submitted and ready for decision.

III. PRINCIPLES OF REVIEW

In the Motions, the moving defendants assert the Indictment is unconstitutionally vague. The moving defendants argue any conviction under the Indictment would violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

The moving defendants ask the court to dismiss the Indictment, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12.3 In relevant part, Rule 12 provides:

Rule 12. Pleadings and Pretrial Motions

* * *

(b) Pretrial Motions.

* * *

(2) Motions That May Be Made Before Trial. A party may raise by pretrial motion any defense, objection, or request that the court can determine without a trial of the general issue.

(3) Motions That Must Be Made Before Trial. The following must be raised before trial:

* * *

(B) a motion alleging a defect in the indictment[.]

Fed.R.Crim.P. 12 (emphases in original).

When considering a defendant's argument for dismissal pursuant to Rule 12, the court must accept all of the government's allegations in the charging document as true. See, e.g., United States v. Sampson, 371 U.S. 75, 78-79, 83 S.Ct. 173, 9 L.Ed.2d 136 (1962) ("Of course, none of these charges have been established by evidence, but at this stage of the proceedings the indictment must be tested by its sufficiency to charge an offense."); United States v. Kay, 359 F.3d 738, 742 (5th Cir. 2004) (similar). The court must also "make all factual inferences in favor of the government[.]" United States v. Jeronimo-Bautista, 425 F.3d 1266, 1267 (10th Cir.2005). As this court stated long ago:

A motion to dismiss the indictment is not a device for a summary trial of the evidence. The sole function of this motion is to test the sufficiency of the indictment to charge an offense. [Sampson, 371 U.S. at 83, 83 S.Ct. 173]. The sufficiency of the indictment must be determined from the words of the indictment, and the Court is not free to consider evidence not appearing on the face of the indictment. In ruling on this motion, all well-pleaded facts are taken to be true. United States v. South Florida Asphalt Co., 329 F.2d 860 (5th Cir. 1964); Padilla v. United States, 278 F.2d 188 (5th Cir.1960).

United States v. Luros, 243 F.Supp. 160, 165 (N.D.Iowa 1965) (Hanson, J.), rev'd on other grounds, 389 F.2d 200 (8th Cir.1968).

IV. FINDINGS OF FACT

For purposes of the Motions, the court assumes, without deciding, all allegations in the Indictment are true. Affording the government all reasonable inferences, the facts are these:

A. Two Conspiracies

1. Drug conspiracy

Between about January of 2003 and continuing until at least May 20, 2004, "in the

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Northern District of Iowa and elsewhere," the original defendants conspired with each other and other persons to violate the Controlled Substances Act ("CSA"), 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq., in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. Indictment at ¶ 11. This drug conspiracy had four objects:

(1) to dispense Schedule III controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and without legitimate medical purpose, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D).

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7 practice notes
  • United States v. Randolph, Criminal Action Number 14-00204-01-CR-W-BP
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • 5 Noviembre 2015
    ...on the face of the indictment. In ruling on this motion, all well-pleaded facts are taken to be true.United States v. Birbragher, 576 F. Supp. 2d 1000, 1005 (N.D. Iowa 2008) aff'd, 603 F.3d 478 (8th Cir. 2010), and aff'd sub nom. United States v. Kanner, 603 F.3d 530 (8th Cir. 2010). As blu......
  • United States v. Robinson, Criminal Action No. 16-98 (CKK).
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Columbia
    • 15 Mayo 2017
    ...jury constrained to determine, what the medical profession would generally do in the circumstances."); United States v. Birbragher , 576 F.Supp.2d 1000, 1013 (N.D. Iowa 2008), aff'd, 603 F.3d 478 (8th Cir. 2010) ("courts have held the language ‘legitimate medical purpose’ and ‘usual course ......
  • United States v. Couch, CRIMINAL NO. 15-00088-CG-B
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Alabama
    • 23 Diciembre 2016
    ...11, 2009) (finding the CSA "is not void-for-vagueness neither facially nor as applied" to a pain doctor); United States v. Birbragher, 576 F. Supp. 2d 1000, 1012-13 (N.D. Iowa 2008) (finding the CSA provides adequate notice of the proscribedPage 9 conduct for physicians), affirmed, 603 F.3d......
  • United States v. Bynes, CR418-153
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Georgia)
    • 29 Agosto 2019
    ...jury constrained to determine, what the medical profession would generally do in the circumstances."); United States v. Birbragher, 576 F. Supp. 2d 1000, 1013 (N.D. Iowa 2008), aff'd, 603 F.3d 478 (8th Cir. 2010) ("courts have held the language 'legitimate medical purpose' and 'usual course......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • United States v. Randolph, Criminal Action Number 14-00204-01-CR-W-BP
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • 5 Noviembre 2015
    ...on the face of the indictment. In ruling on this motion, all well-pleaded facts are taken to be true.United States v. Birbragher, 576 F. Supp. 2d 1000, 1005 (N.D. Iowa 2008) aff'd, 603 F.3d 478 (8th Cir. 2010), and aff'd sub nom. United States v. Kanner, 603 F.3d 530 (8th Cir. 2010). As blu......
  • United States v. Robinson, Criminal Action No. 16-98 (CKK).
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Columbia
    • 15 Mayo 2017
    ...jury constrained to determine, what the medical profession would generally do in the circumstances."); United States v. Birbragher , 576 F.Supp.2d 1000, 1013 (N.D. Iowa 2008), aff'd, 603 F.3d 478 (8th Cir. 2010) ("courts have held the language ‘legitimate medical purpose’ and ‘usual course ......
  • United States v. Couch, CRIMINAL NO. 15-00088-CG-B
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Alabama
    • 23 Diciembre 2016
    ...11, 2009) (finding the CSA "is not void-for-vagueness neither facially nor as applied" to a pain doctor); United States v. Birbragher, 576 F. Supp. 2d 1000, 1012-13 (N.D. Iowa 2008) (finding the CSA provides adequate notice of the proscribedPage 9 conduct for physicians), affirmed, 603 F.3d......
  • United States v. Bynes, CR418-153
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Georgia)
    • 29 Agosto 2019
    ...jury constrained to determine, what the medical profession would generally do in the circumstances."); United States v. Birbragher, 576 F. Supp. 2d 1000, 1013 (N.D. Iowa 2008), aff'd, 603 F.3d 478 (8th Cir. 2010) ("courts have held the language 'legitimate medical purpose' and 'usual course......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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