United States v. Yossunthorn

167 F.3d 1267 (1999)

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United States v. Yossunthorn

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
167 F.3d 1267 (1999)

RW

Facts

Paiboon Mekvichitsang (co-defendant) regularly purchased distribution quantities of heroin from a pair of suppliers. Federal agents arrested one of the suppliers, who agreed to cooperate with the agents. The supplier called and told Mekvichitsang about a new shipment of heroin. Mekvichitsang and the supplier agreed to meet at a McDonald's restaurant to discuss whether Mekvichitsang wanted to buy any of the heroin, and if so, how much, at what price, and on what delivery terms. Before the appointed meeting time, Mekvichitsang and his assistant Sunthorn Yossunthorn (co-defendant) staked out the McDonald's to ensure the meeting's security. Soon thereafter, federal agents arrested Mekvichitsang and Yossunthorn. The United States government (plaintiff) successfully prosecuted the pair for conspiracy and attempted possession with intent to distribute heroin. The pair appealed their convictions to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The issue in Mekvichitsang's case was whether his conduct constituted a substantial step toward acquiring heroin.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Schwarzer, J.)

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