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United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
November 19, 2010, Submitted; January 6, 2011, Filed
[*1059] GRUENDER, Circuit Judge.
After a jury trial, Alfred Finch was convicted of one count of possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of cocaine base ("crack cocaine"), a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(iii). The district court 1 sentenced him to 78 months' imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release. Finch appeals his conviction and sentence. We affirm.
On February 27, 2009, two officers of the Lexington, Nebraska Police [**2] Department responded to a report of a possible burglary at 611 East 6th Street. Vincent Steele informed the officers that he had arrived home to find a window open and a door slightly ajar, and he asked the officers to inspect the building for intruders. While checking the northwest bedroom, one of the officers noticed a mesh laundry container behind the closet door, on which lay a plastic bag. Inside the plastic bag were 105 smaller green plastic bags, each containing a white rock-like substance that the officer suspected to be illegal drugs. Tests later confirmed that the substance [*1060] was crack cocaine. Also in the room, the officers observed a digital scale, .22 caliber bullets, and mail addressed to Alfred Finch. Steele denied owning the drugs, and he later testified that Finch lived in the northwest bedroom. 2
Based on the drugs seized at 611 East 6th Street, a federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment charging Finch with possession of 5 grams or more of crack cocaine with intent to distribute. Finch entered a plea of not guilty and proceeded to trial. At the close of the Government's [**3] case-in-chief, Finch moved pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 29(a) for a judgment of acquittal, which the district court denied. The jury returned a verdict of guilty, making a specific finding that Finch possessed at least 5 grams of crack cocaine. At sentencing, the district court adopted the jury's quantity finding and sentenced Finch to 78 months' imprisonment pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B)(iii) (prescribing a sentence of 5 to 20 years' imprisonment for violations of § 841(a) involving 5 or more grams of crack cocaine). On appeal, Finch (1) attacks the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jury's verdict that he possessed crack cocaine with intent to distribute, (2) challenges the admissibility of certain expert testimony, and (3) contends that he is entitled to resentencing under a retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Pub. L. 111-220, 124 Stat. 2372 (Aug. 3, 2010).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
630 F.3d 1057 *; 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 171 **; 84 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. (Callaghan) 535
United States of America, Appellee, v. Alfred Eugene Finch, Appellant.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska.
United States v. Finch, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99756 (D. Neb., Oct. 27, 2009)
grams, crack cocaine, distribute, bedroom, testing, Sentencing, quantity, weighing, district court, plastic bag, northwest, consumed, expert testimony, samples, drugs, bags
Criminal Law & Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, General Overview, Evidence, Weight & Sufficiency, Possession, Intent to Distribute, Elements, Juries & Jurors, Province of Court & Jury, Credibility of Witnesses, Types of Evidence, Circumstantial Evidence, Abuse of Discretion, Witnesses, Admissibility, Expert Witnesses, Sentencing, Imposition of Sentence, Governments, Legislation, Effect & Operation, Retrospective Operation