US v. Hickman, 08-4764 - U.S. Fourth Circuit
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US v. Hickman, 08-4764

Conviction and life sentence for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin

US v. Hickman, 08-4764, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and an imposition of a mandatory life sentence on the conspiracy count and a concurrent sentence of 360 months of imprisonment on the possession with intent to distribute count.

The court affirmed in part, as there is overwhelming evidence in the record to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that defendant knowingly became a member of a lesser included conspiracy involving 100 grams or more of heroin, and such amount was reasonably foreseeable to defendant.  However, the court vacated in part as to the conviction for conspiracy to distribute heroin in the amount of one kilogram or more and the life sentence imposed for the conspiracy as the evidence was insufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant knowingly became a member of a conspiracy to distribute or to possess with the intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin.

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