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US v. Robinson, No. 09-3451

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By FindLaw Staff on August 19, 2010 11:55 AM

In US v. Robinson, No. 09-3451, the court affirmed defendant's methamphetamine manufacturing convictions and sentence on the grounds that 1) a loaded .22 revolver's proximity - within six feet - to saleable quantities of methamphetamine, digital scales, and pills used to manufacture methamphetamine coupled with an officer's expert testimony regarding the use of firearms in methamphetamine trafficking could lead a reasonable trier of fact to conclude that defendant possessed that weapon to protect his methamphetamine trafficking activities; 2) defendant waived his Confrontation Clause rights; and 3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence based on the reasonable probability that the exhibits had not been altered prior to testing.

As the court wrote:  "Robinson's objections arise out of two separate searches of his rural Missouri home in 2007. First, on January 23, 2007, state law enforcement officers, acting under a valid search warrant, raided Robinson's residence and workshop. In the workshop, officers found pills used to manufacture methamphetamine, a glass bong, a glass pipe used for smoking methamphetamine, digital scales, plastic bags and twist ties, marijuana, $250 in cash, a crystalline substance (Exhibit 3-D), and a liquid substance in a Coca-Cola bottle (Exhibit 10-B). In close proximity to these items, officers found a loaded .22 caliber revolver, a loaded .22 caliber rifle, a loaded .12 gauge shotgun, two .30 caliber magazines, night vision binoculars, an operational security monitor, and three surveillance cameras. Officers also searched Robinson's master bedroom wherein they found a glass smoking device, a .30-06 rifle, a .30-06 magazine, .30-06 ammunition, and six unloaded firearms. Officers field-tested the crystalline substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine, drained the liquid contents of the Coca-Cola bottle into six laboratory bottles, and sent all of the samples to the lab for analysis."

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