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US v. Ham, 09-5730

By FindLaw Staff on January 07, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019
Crack cocaine related offense

US v. Ham, 09-5730, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, and a 190-month sentence followed by eight years of supervised release.

The court affirmed the convictions and defendant's sentence where: 1) the district court properly admitted the expert testimony of an agent as it was highly relevant and helped the jury in resolving the central issue of whether defendant possessed the crack with intent to distribute; 2) an investigator's testimony concerning plastic baggies and scales did not constitute "expert testimony"; 3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to admit the evidence regarding an individual's crack cocaine charge and guilty plea; 4) there was no error in the admission of a special agent's testimony regarding a firearm; 5) the evidence presented was more than sufficient to support the jury's finding that defendant was guilty of possessing crack cocaine with intent to distribute; 6) the trier of fact could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant possessed a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense; 7) defendant's challenges to the district court's jury instructions are without merit; 8) defendant's claims of prosecutorial misconduct are rejected; and 9) the consecutive component  of defendant's sentence was proper.

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