Posts Tagged ‘criminal defense lawyer’

Drug conspiracy involving firearm

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Defendant’s sentence enhanced for leadership role in federal drug conspiracy case involving use of firearm 

Defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The federal District Court imposed a four (4) level, leadership role sentencing enhancement.  On appeal, defendant challenged the enhancement and argued that his sentence was substantively unreasonable.

Where the record demonstrated that defendant recruited his coconspirators to help with his drug distribution and gave instructions, the District Court properly applied a leadership role sentencing enhancement.  Affirmed.

United States v. Fennell, 18-1672, appealed from the Western District of Missouri, per curiam.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson wins dismissal of felon in possession of firearm

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson obtains dismissal of felon in possession of a firearm case in Hennepin County 

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson won dismissal of felon in possession of a firearm case in Hennepin County, State of Minnesota.  After a stop of her client’s vehicle, law enforcement stated they smelled the odor of marijuana.  Law enforcement then proceeded to search the vehicle, during which, a gun, a Glock was found.  Ms. Torgerson’s client had previously been convicted of a disqualifying offense, rendering him ineligible to possess a firearm; additionally, this was the second felon in possession case, making it a “mandatory mandatory,” whereby a conviction mandated a prison sentence.  Contested omnibus motions were filed and served, and a witness was subpoenaed, and a significant case was cited.  Shortly, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office dismissed the case against Ms. Torgerson’s client.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Armed Career Criminal Act sentence

Friday, December 6th, 2019

Felon in possession of a firearm sentence 

Defendant appealed his sentence which followed a conditional guilty plea to felon in possession of a firearm.  The government had filed notice of the applicability of the Armed Career Criminal Act.  Defendant argued the District Court imposed a substantively unreasonable sentence.

Where the District Court adequately considered the statutory sentencing factors and identified the statutory factors weighing against defendant, it did not err by imposing an upward variance.  Judgment is affirmed.

United States v. Harris, 17-3650, appealed from the Western District of Missouri, per curiam.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Manslaughter charge for newborn death due to drug toxicity

Friday, December 6th, 2019

Mother charged with manslaughter because newborn died due to her drug use 

Defendant was charged with involuntary manslaughter after the death of her newborn due to drug use.  Defendant mother’s child was born alive.  Defendant moved to dismiss indictment on grounds that charged offense did not apply to her conduct.  Motion was granted.  Government appealed.

Where defendant’ child was born alive, baby qualified as a human being under involuntary manslaughter statute.  Accordingly, the District Court erred by dismissing the indictment.  Judgment reversed and remanded.

Colloton, J., dissenting:  “I do conclude that Congress has not adopted a manslaughter statute that imposes criminal liability on a mother for prenatal conduct that results in the tragic death of her child.  I would therefore affirm the order dismissing the indictment.”

United States v. Flute, 17-3727, appealed from the District of South Dakota, Shepherd, J.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Possession of child pornography

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

Above guidelines sentence for violation of supervised release on possession of child pornography conviction 

Defendant pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.  He was sentenced to 21 months of imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release.  During his release, defendant admitted to violating the conditions of his release by unlawfully possessing a firearm.  The District Court sentenced defendant to an above guidelines sentence.  Where the District Court found that defendant posed an ongoing risk to the public due to prohibited possession of firearms, the District Court did not abuse its discretion in imposing an above guidelines sentence.  Affirmed.

United States v. Tyson, 18-2219, appealed from Northern District of Iowa, per curiam.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Possession with intent to distribute cocaine

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

Federal court sentence for possession with intent to distribute cocaine 

Defendant pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.  The District Court determined the Guidelines range to be 37 to 46 months.  The District Court expressed incredulity about defendant’s lack of drug trafficking experience, even though the government had no such evidence.  The District Court sentenced defendant to 46 months prison.

Where there was no indication the District Court used an improper inference of past drug trafficking as a principal basis to the imposed sentence, and expressly declined to make a finding based on speculation, the District Court did not procedurally err in fashioning defendant’s sentence.  Affirmed.

United States v. Balderrama-Chavez, 18-2474, appealed from the Western District of Arkansas, per curiam.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Right to speedy trial in murder and assault charges trial

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

Speedy trial not violated in 1st degree assault and attempted 2nd degree murder trial 

Defendant challenged his convictions of attempted 2nd degree murder and 1st degree assault, arguing that the trial court violated his right to a speedy trial.  Noting that defendant’s trial occurred 42 days after his speedy trial demand, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the delay was not prejudicial.

State v. Ramsey, A18-2023, Ramsey County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

No qualified immunity where civilian yelled obscenities

Friday, November 29th, 2019

No qualified immunity for state trooper where civilian yelled obscenities 

Where a State Trooper challenged the denial of qualified immunity on claims of First Amendment retaliation and Fourth Amendment unreasonable seizure after plaintiff was arrested for disorderly conduct for yelling an expletive at the officer from a moving vehicle, the District Court properly denied qualified immunity because the arrest violated the plaintiff’s rights since the shout was unamplified and fleeting and was not an unreasonable or excessive noise to constitute disorderly conduct, and the trooper lacked probable cause for the arrest.  Judgment affirmed.

Thurairajah v. City of Fort Smith, 17-3419, appealed from the Western District of Arkansas, Smith, M.

Drug user in possession of a firearm

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

Firearm found in proximity to drug trafficking offense 

Defendant pleaded guilty to drug user in possession of a firearm.  Defendant’s presentence report included a 4 level enhancement for possessing a firearm in connection with distribution of marijuana.  Over objection, the District Court sentenced defendant to 46 months in prison.

Where police found evidence of defendant’s drug trafficking offense in the same location of his firearm, the government was not required to prove that the firearm facilitated the trafficking offense.  Affirmed.

United States v. Lyes, 18-1488, appealed from the Northern District of Iowa, per curiam.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.


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