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United States v. Wilson

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Western Division

December 20, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ARTHUR WILSON DEFENDANT

          ORDER

          DAVID BRAMLETTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Arthur Wilson (“Wilson”)'s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 8), Motion to Declare the Indictment Defective Due to Duplicity (Doc. 7), and Motion to Suppress and/or Exclude (Doc. 6). This Court held a hearing on the aforementioned motions on October 21, 2019. Having read the Motions, memoranda in support, applicable statutory and case law, heard the arguments by the Government and Defendant, and otherwise being fully informed in the premises finds that the Defendant's Motions should be DENIED.

         Background

         On August 21, 2018, Defendant Wilson was indicted in criminal No. 5:18-cr-16-DCB-LRA on one count of conspiring with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and Defendant Wilson was arrested on September 27, 2018. On March 19, 2019, the Government filed a superseding indictment in criminal case number 5:18-cr-16-DCB-LRA. On July 24, 2019 - approximately ten months later - the Government filed a new indictment against Defendant Wilson in criminal No. 5:19-cr-11-DCB-LRA. That indictment states that Defendant Wilson, “conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, and less than 50 kilograms of marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance.” The Defendant argues that these allegations are “exactly the same, ” that they are based on the same set of facts and same evidence, and that the only difference between the two indictments is that the government has added the charge of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute less than 50kg of marijuana. [ECF No. 8] at p. 2. According to the Defendant, this additional charge is not based on any new information or new evidence. Both indictments allege a single count of conspiracy to violate 21 U.S.C. § 841.

         The second indictment was filed ten months after Defendant Wilson was arrested on these charges. The Defendant argues that dismissal is appropriate because the indictment was not filed within 30 days from the date on which the Defendant was arrested… in connection with such charges. See 18 U.S.C.A. §3161(b).

         Discussion

         Motion to Dismiss

         The Government submitted a supplemental response to the oral argument propounded by the Defendant in relation to the defense's Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 8]. See [ECF No. 15]. In that response, the Government addresses both the 30-day arrest-to-indictment clock and the 70-day Speedy Trial clock. The Court finds that the Government's position is well-taken.

         The Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(b) & (c)(1) states:

(b) Any information or indictment charging an individual with the commission of an offense shall be filed within thirty days from the date on which such individual was arrested or served with a summons in connection with such charges. If an individual has been charged with a felony in a district in which no grand jury has been in session during such thirty-day period, the period of time for filing of the indictment shall be extended an additional thirty days.”
(c)(1) In any case in which a plea of not guilty is entered, the trial of a defendant charged in an information or indictment with the commission of an offense shall commence within seventy days from the filing date (and making public) of the information or indictment, or from the date the defendant has appeared before a judicial officer of the court in which such charge is pending, whichever date last occurs. If a defendant consents in writing to be tried before a magistrate judge on a complaint, the trial shall commence within seventy days from the date of such consent.

         Section 3162(a)(1) sets forth the sanction for noncompliance with § 3161(b):

“If, in the case of any individual against whom a complaint is filed charging such individual with an offense, no indictment or information is filed within the time limit required by section 3161(b) as extended by section 3161(h) of this chapter, such charge against the individual contained in such complaint shall be dismissed or otherwise dropped.” The defendant argues that, given his arrest on the first indictment in Cause No. 5:18-cr-16-DCB-LRA, the indictment in Cause No. 5:19-cr-11-DCB-FKB must have been returned within 30-days of the initial indictment.

         The defendant bases that argument on his assertion that the allegations in the two cases are “exactly the same, ” and are “based on the same set of facts and same evidence.” [ECF No. 8] at p. 2. The difference between the two indictments is that under the newest indictment, “the Government has added the charge of conspiring to distribute and possess with an intent to distribute less than 50 kg of marijuana.” Id. The defendant argues that, since the two charges are essentially the same, the second indictment must have been ...


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