United States v. Parker, No. 07-0620-cr (2d Cir. February 3, 2009) (Feinberg, Leval, Cabranes, CJJ)
Recently, the court held that the “buyer-seller” rule did not apply where the defendant, a drug buyer who resold the drugs, clearly had a stake in the seller’s operation. See “Buyer’s Remorse,” posted October 26, 2008.
Here, the court goes over this same material again. The appellants were frequent customers of a large crack distribution operation in Utica, New York. They resold the crack, and the sellers knew it. While this alone is not enough to create conspiracy liability – “mere awareness on the part of the seller that the buyer intends to resell the drugs is not sufficient to show that the seller and buyer share a conspiratorial interest to further the buyer’s resale” – here, there was more.
Specifically, there was evidence that could lead a jury to find that the sellers shared with the buyers an “interest and a stake in the buyers’ intention to resell the drugs” and that the buyers and the sellers shared an intention “to be a continuing part of, and to further, the sellers’ drug selling operation.” In other words, this was “cooperative venture” in which the “buyers and sellers had a stake in additional transfers of drugs beyond the transfers from the original seller to the original buyer.”
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