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United States v. Prince

decided: March 18, 1959.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JAMES WILLIAM PRINCE, APPELLANT,



Author: Mclaughlin

Before BIGGS, Chief Judge, and GOODRICH and McLAUGHLIN, Circuit Judges.

McLAUGHLIN, Circuit Judge.

Appellant was convicted for selling and facilitating the concealment and sale of narcotic drugs on or about April 10, 1958, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 174. He was sentenced as a second offender to ten years imprisonment under the mandatory provisions of Section 174.

His first point concerns the government's alleged failure to comply with the trial court's direction to produce statements of a government agent in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 3500. Agent Hill of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was a trial witness for the government. On direct examination he testified that on April 10, 1958 he arranged by telephone to purchase three spoons of heroin from Prince for $60 and to send Randolph Jackson, a special government employee and a friend of Prince, to the latter with the money for the drug. According to the government evidence that sale was consummated. At the opening of the cross-examination Mr. Hill was questioned and answered as follows:

"Q. Mr. Hill, did you make written reports pertaining to the subject matter you have just testified? A. I have a written report, for April 10th, the actual date of the sale.

"Mr. McVay: Your Honor, I request those reports.

"The Court: Do you have it there?

"Mr. Shannon: Yes.

"Mr. McVay: Your Honor, may I have a recess so that I will have time to look at these reports?

"The Court: How long are they, Mr. Shannon?

"Mr. Shannon: Approximately a page and a half. You can read it in a couple of minutes I imagine.

"The Court: Go ahead. We will let you take time to read it, Mr. McVay."

As the result of the above a report by Mr. Hill of his activities on April 10, 1958 with reference to Prince was produced and furnished defense counsel. On redirect examination Mr. Hill was asked if he had talked with Prince after April 10th. He said he had and he was requested to relate the conversation. This was objected to. The court asked the district attorney its purpose and the reply was "The purpose of it is to show the subsequent similar conduct." The court allowed the evidence over further objection.*fn1 Mr. Hill then told that on April 28, 1958 he had talked with William E. Jackson, referred to in the record as a drug seller, and Prince together. He said:

"I spoke to them. I told them that I was looking to buy more heroin. William E. Jackson turned to the defendant and asked the defendant did he want to take care of me. The defendant said, 'I am still suspicious that he is a narcotic agent. I want to sell to him but I don't want to put it in his hands although I want the money.' William Jackson said, 'If ...


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