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US v. Spires, No. 09-3663

By FindLaw Staff on January 13, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Crack Conviction and Sentence Affirmed

In US v. Spires, No. 09-3663, the court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for possession with intent to distribute 50 or more grams of cocaine base where 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it refused defendant's request to attach a "cautionary tail" to the instructions pertaining to cooperating witness testimony; 2) defendant's mandatory life sentence did not violate the Eighth Amendment; and 3) the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 was not retroactive.


As the court wrote:  "A jury found Ambrose Rayshawn Spires, also known as Ambrose Spries, guilty of possession with intent to distribute 50 or more grams of cocaine base ("crack"), in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A), and conspiracy to distribute 50 or more grams of crack, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(b)(1)(A). The jury found Spires not guilty of possession of a firearm in furtherance of the above drug trafficking crimes, 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), and possession of a firearm by a felon, 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2)."

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