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United States v. Walker

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
657 F.3d 160 (2011)


Facts

Brothers Barron and Barry Walker (defendants) robbed a drug dealer, Edward Wright, but netted only a small amount of cash and crack cocaine. Supposedly, it was Wright’s first time dealing drugs. Wright had purchased only $60 of cocaine, and he had made a single sale for $40 to $50 at the time of the robbery. The government (plaintiff) nonetheless charged the Walkers under the Hobbs Act, a federal statute that makes robbery or extortion that affects interstate commerce a federal crime. In support, a local police chief gave expert testimony that cocaine sold in Harrisburg originated outside Pennsylvania and was transported into the state. The Walkers were convicted and appealed, arguing the evidence did not show the robbery affected interstate commerce.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pollak, J.)

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