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State v. Carter

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

October 25, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
DERENNE CARTER

         ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 16-951, DIVISION "M" HONORABLE HENRY G. SULLIVAN, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING

          Paul D. Connick, Jr., Terry M. Boudreaux COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA

          Bruce G. Whittaker COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, DERENNE CARTER

          Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Robert M. Murphy, and Hans J. Liljeberg

          HANS J. LILJEBERG JUDGE

         Defendant appeals his convictions and sentences for racketeering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. For the following reasons, we affirm defendant's convictions and sentences, and we remand for correction of the uniform commitment orders. We also grant appellate counsel's motion to withdraw as counsel of record.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Defendant, Derenne Carter, was charged by indictment with racketeering, relating to a narcotics distribution network, in violation of La. R.S. 15:1352. He was also charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, in violation of La. R.S. 40:979 and La. R.S. 40:967(A). Defendant pleaded not guilty to both charges.

         Thereafter, defendant withdrew his prior pleas of not guilty and pleaded guilty as charged. In accordance with the plea agreement, the trial court sentenced defendant to 15 years imprisonment at hard labor on count one (racketeering) and to 15 years imprisonment at hard labor, with the first two years without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, on count two (conspiracy to distribute cocaine). The sentences were ordered to run concurrently. The State filed a multiple offender bill of information on count two alleging defendant to be a second felony offender, to which defendant stipulated. The trial court vacated defendant's sentence on count two and resentenced him as a second felony offender, pursuant to La. R.S. 15:529.1, to 15 years imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of probation or suspension of sentence. Defendant appeals.

         FACTS

         Because defendant pleaded guilty, the facts were not fully developed at a trial.[1] Count one of the indictment provides, in pertinent part:

At all times material to this Indictment, Derenne Carter, aka "D" the defendant herein…engaged in conduct that furthered the aims of an Enterprise by engaging in a pattern of Racketeering Activity. This conduct included operating a narcotics distribution network that transported cocaine into the metropolitan New Orleans area from the State of Texas.
****
From on or around January 1, 2013, through February 26, 2015…defendant…did knowingly conduct and participate, directly and indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of the Enterprise through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity…consist[ing] of acts that include, but are not limited to, the conduct alleged in Counts Two and Three of the Indictment, and this conduct is incorporated as Racketeering Act 1 and 2.
****

         Racketeering Act 5

On and between January 16, and January 19, 2014, Derenne Carter aka "D"…transported U.S. Currency from Jefferson Parish to Houston, Texas for the purpose of acquiring cocaine.

         Racketeering Act 6

On and between January 16, and January 19, 2014, Derenne Carter aka "D"…transported kilograms of cocaine from Houston, ...

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