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United States v. Foster

United States District Court, District of Hawaii

December 8, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLES H. FOSTER, (01) JOHN GARCIA IV (02), Defendants.

ORDER RULING ON ADMISSIBILITY OF RULE 404(B) EVIDENCE AT TRIAL AND DENYING DEFENDANT FOSTER’S MOTION IN LIMINE (ECF NO. 133)

Helen Gillmor, United States District Judge

Defendants Charles Foster and John Garcia have been charged, in a four count Superceding Indictment, with distribution, and conspiracy to distribute, illegal drugs. The Court addresses the following evidentiary issues:

(1) The Government’s filing of a notice of intent, pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 404(b), to present evidence regarding two controlled drug purchases between a confidential informant and Defendant Foster that occurred a few weeks prior to Defendant Foster’s arrest. Defendant Foster has filed a Motion in Limine (ECF No. 133) to exclude this evidence.

(2) The Government’s filing of a notice of intent, pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 404(b), to present Defendant Foster’s prior conviction, by jury, for distributing the dangerous drug of cocaine committing the offense of Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Second Degree, in violation of Section 712-1242(c) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

(3) The Government’s filing of a notice of intent, pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 404(b), to present Defendant Garcia’s prior conviction, by guilty plea, of knowingly possessing the dangerous drug of methamphetamine committing the office of Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Third Degree in violation of Section 712-1243 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

(4) The Government’s filing of a notice of intent, pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 404(b), to present evidence of acts that occurred subsequent to Defendant Foster’s arrest, and a few weeks after his release from custody, regarding illegal drug sales. For the reasons set forth below, the Court rules as follows:

(1) The evidence regarding two controlled drug purchases between a confidential informant and Defendant Foster that occurred a few weeks prior to Defendant Foster’s arrest is ADMISSIBLE. Defendant Foster’s Motion in Limine (ECF No. 133) is DENIED.
(2) The evidence regarding Defendant Foster’s prior conviction, by jury, for distributing the dangerous drug of cocaine committing the offense of Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Second Degree in violation of Section 712-1242(c) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes is ADMISSIBLE.
(3) The evidence regarding Defendant Garcia’s prior conviction, by guilty plea, of knowingly possessing the dangerous drug of methamphetamine committing the office of Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Third Degree in violation of Section 712-1243 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes is ADMISSIBLE.
(4) The evidence of acts that occurred subsequent to Defendant Foster’s arrest, and a few weeks after his release from custody, regarding illegal drug sales, described on pages 8 and 9 of the Government’s Trial Brief, is ADMISSIBLE.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On March 6, 2013, a grand jury returned a four count Indictment as to Defendants Charles Foster, John Garcia, and Chrystyan Burke. (ECF No. 24.)

A jury trial was originally set for May 7, 2013. (ECF No. 29.)

On April 23, 2013, by stipulation of the parties and Order of the Court, the trial date was continued to November 5, 2013. (ECF No. 38.)

On May 6, 2013, The Magistrate Judge approved release of Defendant Foster from custody on a $50, 000 unsecured bond (ECF No. 41) and issued an Order, dated May 7, 2013, setting his conditions for release. (ECF No. 44.)

On October 2, 2013, Defendant Foster moved to continue the trial date because he had newly appointed counsel. (ECF No. 63.)

On October 8, 2013, the Court entered an Order continuing the trial date to March 4, 2014. (ECF No. 66.)

On January 10, 2014, the Government filed a Notice of Intent to Use 404(b) Evidence at the March 4, 2014 trial as to Defendant Foster regarding his prior conviction, by jury, for distributing cocaine. (ECF No. 82.)

On January 10, 2014, the Government filed a Notice of Intent to Use 404(b) Evidence at the March 4, 2014 trial as to Defendant Garcia regarding his prior conviction, by guilty plea, of promoting a dangerous drug in the third degree. (ECF No. 83.)

On January 22, 2014, the Court granted Defendant Foster, Garcia, and Burke’s motion to continue trail and entered an order continuing the trial to July 1, 2014. (ECF No. 90.)

On May 12, 2014, Defendant Burke pled guilty to all counts against him in the Indictment. (ECF No. 95.)

On May 22, 2014, a grand jury returned a four count Superceding Indictment as to Defendants Charles Foster and John Garcia. (ECF No. 99.)

On May 28, 2014, the Court, pursuant to counsel’s request and agreement, continued the trial to September 16, 2014. (ECF No. 103.)

On August 13, 2014, the Court, upon the Defendants’ joint oral motion, continued the trial to December 2, 2014. (ECF No. 111.)

On August 19, 2014, Defendant Foster filed a response to the Government’s Notice of Intent to Use 404(b) Evidence regarding his prior conviction, filed January 10, 2014. (ECF No. 114.) The response was timely as to the December 2, 2014 trial date.

On August 19, 2014, Defendant Garcia filed a response to the Government’s Notice of Intent to Use 404(b) Evidence regarding his prior conviction, filed January 10, 2014. (ECF No. 113.) The response was timely as to the December 2, 2014 trial date.

On November 7, 2014, the Court, upon the Government’s motion, continued the trial to December 9, 2014.

On November 10, 2014, the Government filed a Notice of Intent to Use 404(b) Evidence as to Defendant Foster, regarding two controlled drug purchases between a confidential informant and Defendant Foster. (ECF No. 135.)

On November 10, 2014, Defendant Foster filed a Motion in Limine to exclude the evidence regarding two controlled drug purchases between a confidential informant and Defendant Foster. (ECF No. 133.)

On November 10, 2014, the Government filed its Trial Brief. (ECF No. 136.) In the Trial Brief, the Government states that it intends to introduce evidence, through testimony of a co-conspirator, of acts that occurred subsequent to Defendant Foster’s arrest and release from custody.

On November 24, 2014, the Court held a final pre-trial conference at which the parties presented arguments concerning the Rule 404(b) evidence.

BACKGROUND

Superceding ...


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