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United States v. Barton

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

January 2, 2020

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
NATALIE BARTON

         SECTION I

          ORDER & REASONS

          LANCE IVLAFRICK UNITED STATES M.HSTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is defendant Natalie Barton's (“Barton”) motion[1] for reconsideration of the Court's order[2] denying Barton's motion[3] to dismiss counts one, three, four, and five of the indictment against her. For the following reasons, the motion is denied.

         I.

         Barton was charged in a seven-count indictment with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute anabolic steroids, conspiracy to misbrand drugs, multiple counts of distribution of anabolic steroids, and multiple counts of misbranding of prescription drugs.[4] Counts one, three, four, and five charge offenses involving anabolic steroids. Count one charges Barton with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute anabolic steroids, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(E)(i), and 846.[5] Counts three, four, and five charge Barton with the distribution of anabolic steroids, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(E)(i), and 18 U.S.C. § 2.[6]

         The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014 (“DASCA”), Pub. L. No. 113-260, expanded the scope of the Controlled Substances Act's prohibition on anabolic steroids and added an “analogue provision” for substances that were not specifically listed in the statute. Under DASCA, a drug or hormonal substance not listed in 21 U.S.C. § 802(41)(A) that “is derived from, or has a chemical structure substantially similar to” one or more of a listed anabolic steroid shall be considered to be an anabolic steroid if:

(I) the drug or substance has been created or manufactured with the intent of producing a drug or other substance that either-
(aa) promotes muscle growth; or
(bb) otherwise causes a pharmacological effect similar to that of testosterone; or
(II) the drug or substance has been, or is intended to be, marketed or otherwise promoted in any manner suggesting that consuming it will promote muscle growth or any other pharmacological effect similar to that of testosterone.

21 U.S.C. § 802(41)(C)(i).

         In her motion to dismiss counts of the indictment, Barton argued that counts one, three, four, and five should be dismissed on void-for-vagueness and nondelegation grounds.[7] Challenging DASCA, Barton contended that the law is unconstitutionally vague because it fails to provide an “ordinary person” with sufficient notice that certain unlisted substances may be considered to be unlawful anabolic steroids.[8] Barton also asserted that the charges against her implicate the nondelegation doctrine because the United States Attorney “both defined the law and prosecuted the case.”[9]

         The Court denied Barton's motion. After reviewing Barton's arguments and the applicable caselaw, the Court concluded that the law under which Barton is charged in counts one, three, four, and five is not unconstitutionally vague and ...


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