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United States v. Allen

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

April 13, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
SONNY ALLEN, Section

ORDER AND REASONS

STANWOOD R. DUVAL, Jr., District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant Sonny Allen's Motion for Judgment of Acquittal (R. Doc. 232) and Motion for New Trial (R. Doc. 233). Having reviewed the motions, memoranda, record, and relevant law, the Court DENIES the motion for reasons stated herein.

I. BACKGROUND

On June 6, 2013, Defendant Sonny Allen was charged in a sixteen-count Superseding indictment with the following offenses:

i. Conspiracy to Possess and to Possess with the Intent to Distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841 (b)(1)(A), and 846 (Count 1);
ii. Conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 924(o) (Count 2);
iii. Knowingly and intentionally distributing a quantity of cocaine base ("crack") on February 22, 2013, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C) (Count 11);
iv. Knowingly and intentionally distributing a quantity of cocaine base ("crack") on February 27, 2013, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C) (Count 12);
v. Knowingly and intentionally distributing a quantity of cocaine base ("crack") on March 6, 2013, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C) (Count 15); and
vi. Knowingly and intentionally distributing a quantity of cocaine base ("crack") on June 4, 2013, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C) (Count 16).

Superseding Indictment, R. Doc. 35, 1-7.

On November 3, 2014, the matter proceeded to trial. The Government called seventeen witnesses over the course of three days, and at the close of the Government's case, the Defendant made an oral motion for judgment of acquittal under Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 29 urging that the Government's case was insufficient to carry its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court reserved ruling on the motion, but allowed Defendant to renew his motion at the conclusion of trial. At the conclusion of trial, the Defendant again urged the motion with oral reasons and the Court reserved its decision and directed counsel submit written reasons for the motion. The Defendant submitted a written motion for acquittal under Rule 29 in addition to a motion for new trial under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 33.

The jury returned a verdict on November 6, 2014 of guilty against the Defendant on Counts 1, 11, 12, 13, and 14.[1] The jury acquitted the Defendant on Count 2, which charged him with being a participant in a conspiracy to possess firearms in ...


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