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United States v. Washington

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
41 F.3d 917 (1994)


The federal government (plaintiff) prosecuted Raymond L. Washington (defendant) for the use of a gun in the commission of a drug-trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924, and for possession with intent to distribute more than five ounces of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The trial evidence established that, after making a routine traffic stop of Washington's car, police officers found a pistol in the car's trunk and 12.1 grams of cocaine, a pager, and $20 on Washington's person. The officers found no drug paraphernalia or other evidence that Washington planned to sell the cocaine. However, Washington admitted that friends gave him money with which he bought cocaine that he intended to share with the friends. The jury acquitted Washington of the gun crime but found him guilty of possession with intent to distribute. On appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Washington argued that the government should have charged him only with simple possession, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 844(a).

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Russell, J.)

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