Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

A Ho Hum Opinion

United States v. Snow et al., Docket No. 05-0968-cr (L) (2d Cir. Sep. 1, 2006) (Jacobs, Pooler, Gibson): Nothing of interest to non-parties in this fact-based opinion affirming the conviction and sentence of three defendants for various crack and gun-related offenses. The sole point worth mention concerns whether the evidence was sufficient to convict one defendant of (constructively) possessing crack with intent to distribute, where the crack was hidden in the basement of a building in which the defendant co-rented a 2-bedroom apartment. Judge Gibson for the majority ruled that the evidence was sufficient, distinguishing this case from United States v. Rodriguez, 392 F.3d 539, 548 (2d Cir. 2004) (evidence of possession insufficient even though defendant had been in the back seat of a car near where drugs hidden in a box were subsequently found). Op.29-30. Judge Pooler dissents on this point alone, concluding that Rodriguez was indistinguishable. Op.37 (“Presence at the location of hidden drugs, even where there is evidence that location is partially under the defendant’s control, is insufficient to support constructive possession.”).

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