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United States v. Clegg - 846 F.2d 1221 (9th Cir. 1988)

Rule:

Under the doctrine of entrapment by estoppel a person cannot be prosecuted under 18 U.S.C.S. § 922 if a government official has represented that their conduct is legal.

Facts:

Defendant Eugene Ray Clegg was charged with exporting firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(1) (1982) and 22 U.S.C. § 2778(b)(2)(c) (1982). During pretrial proceedings, Defendant requested the government to produce documents that allegedly contained information of his activities. The government opposed the motion, asserting that the information sought was not material to any valid defense and that such documents would likely be subject to the Classified Information Procedures Act (***), 18 U.S.C. App. III, §§ 1-16 (1982). The government submitted classified and unclassified documents to the district court for in camera inspection to establish that the documents were not material to a defense. The district court ruled the classified documents were material and discoverable and that proposed alternative materials were deficient and unacceptable

Issue:

Was the classified information relevant to the defense?

Answer:

Yes

Conclusion:

The court held that the defense of reliance on government officials was available to Clegg. The court held that the classified materials were relevant to the defense.

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