United States v. Moe

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 03-27-2015
  • Case #: 13-30224
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Clifton for the Court; Circuit Judges Hurwitz and Smith
  • Full Text Opinion

When a defendant is charged with a single conspiracy, the court is not required to instruct the jury on the difference between a single conspiracy and multiple conspiracies if the instructions already inform the jury as to that difference.

Maria Moe was convicted of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine, with intent to distribute. Moe alleged that there was not enough evidence for a jury to convict her for such a conspiracy. Additionally, Moe argued that the district court erred when when it limited her cross-examination of a government witness, and when a jury instruction for multiple conspiracies was used, arguing that the buyer-seller relationship should have been distinguished from multiple conspiracies to the jury. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that "the evidence before the jury, viewed in the light most favorable to the government, was sufficient to support Moe's conviction.” The panel explained that while the facts did not support a multiple conspiracies defense, the trial court did not err in declining to instruct the jury on the buyer-seller rule or how to differentiate between a single conspiracy and multiple conspiracies. Therefore, because the multiple conspiracies defense did not apply, Moe was not entitled to what would have been irrelevant cross-examination of a government witness. AFFIRMED.

Advanced Search