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United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
July 30, 2021, Submitted; October 1, 2021, Decided
Jerry Haymon, IV, was convicted after a jury trial of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a), 846. The district court sentenced Haymon to the mandatory minimum sentence of 120 months in prison. Haymon appeals, asserting numerous challenges to the criminal judgment. We affirm.
Viewed in the light most favorable to the Government, United States v. Palomino-Coronado, 805 F.3d 127, 130 (4th Cir. 2015), the evidence established that, from 2013 to 2017, Haymon, who resided in California, provided multi-kilogram quantities of marijuana to Nasiru Carew and Rashourn Niles for distribution in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. The participants communicated extensively by text [*2] messages. Niles and Carew contacted Haymon in California to request shipments of marijuana. Haymon typically shipped packages containing marijuana through the mail to different addresses provided by Niles and Carew. On other occasions, Haymon would send packages containing marijuana by United Parcel Services or Federal Express. Niles and Carew paid for the marijuana shipments by money order, mailing cash, depositing money in various bank accounts provided by Haymon, or personally delivering money to Haymon.
I. Exclusion of evidence of California law
Haymon first contends that the district court abused its discretion by precluding him from introducing evidence concerning California law related to medical marijuana. He asserts that California legalized the use of medical marijuana and that his conduct was lawful under California law and therefore he did not have the requisite criminal intent to commit the conspiracy offense with which he was charged.
] The fact that a state decriminalized possession of marijuana does not provide a defense to a charged violation of federal drug laws. See United States v. Henry, 673 F.3d 285, 291-92 (4th Cir. 2012). Rather, "[m]arijuana remains illegal under federal law, even in those states in which medical marijuana [*3] has been legalized." United States v. Canori, 737 F.3d 181, 184 (2d Cir. 2013) (citations omitted). Thus, we find no abuse of discretion by the district court in excluding evidence of California law. See United States v. Johnson, 617 F.3d 286, 292 (4th Cir. 2020) (providing standard).
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2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 29669 *; 2021 WL 4495813
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. JERRY HAYMON, a/k/a Bear, Defendant - Appellant.
Notice: PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by, En banc United States v. Haymon, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 32365 (4th Cir., Oct. 28, 2021)
Prior History: [*1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. (1:19-cr-00214-LO-1). Liam O'Grady, Senior District Judge.
marijuana, district court, conspiracy, distribute, phone, buyer-seller, controlled substance, contends, possession of marijuana, messages, jurors
Criminal Law & Procedure, Controlled Substances, Substance Schedules, Hashish & Marijuana, Delivery, Distribution & Sale, Conspiracy, Elements, Possession, Intent to Distribute, Trials, Burdens of Proof, Prosecution, Inchoate Crimes, Motions for Acquittal, Evidence, Weight & Sufficiency, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Sufficiency of Evidence, Juries & Jurors, Province of Court & Jury, Credibility of Witnesses, Obstruction of Administration of Justice, Jury Tampering, Jury Deliberations, Intimidation & Tampering, Disqualification & Removal of Jurors, Inquiry, Outside Influences, Appeals, Abuse of Discretion, Conclusions of Law, Motions to Suppress, Preliminary Proceedings, Pretrial Motions & Procedures, Suppression of Evidence, Clearly Erroneous Review, Findings of Fact, Plain Error, Burdens of Proof, Definition of Plain Error, Plain Error, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Scope of Protection, Discovery & Inspection, Brady Materials, Brady Claims, Defendant's Rights, Right to Due Process, Exceptions to Disclosure