United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
A. Williams, Defendant, represented by Ronna Holloman-Hughes,
Federal Public Defender's Office & William M. Ermine,
Federal Public Defender's Office.
Adkins, Defendant, represented by Jeremy Sean Weis, Gaddy
M. Sparks, Defendant, represented by Justin Summary, Allan
and Summary, L.C. & Angela Claire Hasty.
Charidy Blankinship, Defendant, represented by Patrick A.
McInerney, Dentons U.S. LLP.
R Williams, Defendant, represented by Shazzie Naseem,
Berkowitz, Oliver, Williams, Shaw & Eisenbrandt, LLP.
Plaintiff, represented by Catherine A. Connelly, United
States Attorney's Office & James C. Bohling, Office of
the United States Attorney.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
W. HAYS, Magistrate Judge.
matter is currently before the Court on defendant Sparks'
Motion to Dismiss Indictment, or in the Alternative, Motion
for Bill of Particulars (doc #61) in which defendant Sparks
argues that the indictment fails to give adequate notice of
the charges against him; and defendant Derek Williams'
Motion to Dismiss (doc #108) in which defendant Williams
argues that the drug analogue statue is unconstitutionally
void for vagueness in violation of the Fifth Amendment. For
the reasons set forth below, it is recommended that these
motions be denied.
20, 2013, defendant Derek A. Williams and Jason E. Sparks,
along with Ashli Adkins, Charidy Blankenship and Daniel R.
Williams,  were charged in a forty-three count
Indictment. On February 4, 2016, the Grand Jury returned a
forty-six count Superseding Indictment against defendants
Derek A. Williams, Ashli Adkins, Jason E. Sparks and Daniel
R. Williams. Defendant Derek Williams is charged in Counts
One through Forty-Four. Defendant Sparks is charged in Counts
One through Forty-Two. In Count One, all defendants are
charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. In Counts Two
and Three, all defendants are charged with conspiracy to
distribute controlled substance analogues, specifically
JWH-203, JWH-250, JWH-210, AM-694, AM-2201, JWH-122, UR-144,
XLR-11, JWH-081 and JWH-019 (Count Two) and XLR-11 and UR-144
(Count Three). In Count Four, all defendants are charged with
conspiracy to import controlled substance analogues,
specifically JWH-210, AM-2201, JWH-122, JWH-081 and JWH-019.
In Counts Five through Ten, all defendants are charged with
distribution of controlled substance analogues, specifically
JWH-250, JWH-210, AM-694 and AM-2201 (Count Five) and XLR-11
(Count Six through Ten). In Count Eleven, all defendants are
charged with conspiracy to introduce, receive, deliver and
sell misbranded drugs in interstate and foreign commerce. In
Counts Twelve and Thirteen, all defendants are charged with
conspiracy to commit money laundering. In Counts Fourteen
through Forty-Two, defendants Derek A. Williams, Ashli Adkins
and Jason E. Sparks are charged with conducting financial
transactions in excess of $10, 000 with criminally derived
proceeds. In Counts Forty-Three and Forty-Four, defendants
Derek A. Williams, Ashli Adkins and Daniel R. Williams are
charged with conducting financial transactions in excess of
$10, 000 with criminally derived proceeds. Counts Forty-Five
and Forty-Six charge only defendant Daniel R. Williams.
Standard of Review
Sixth Amendment to the Constitution provides that "[i]n
all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the
right... to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation...." This Constitutional requirement is
implemented by Rule 7(c)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal
Procedure which specifies that "[t]he indictment... must
be a plain, concise, and definite written statement of the
essential facts constituting the offense charged...."
The Eighth Circuit has set forth the following standard of
review regarding a motion to dismiss based upon the
sufficiency of an indictment:
An indictment adequately states an offense if "it
contains all of the essential elements of the offense
charged, fairly informs the defendant of the charges against
which he must defend, and alleges sufficient information to
allow a defendant to plead a conviction or acquittal as a bar
to a subsequent prosecution. An indictment will ordinarily be
held sufficient unless it is so defective that it cannot be
said, by any reasonable construction, to charge the offense
for which the defendant was convicted."
United States v. Sewell, 513 F.3d 820, 821 (8th Cir.
2008)(quoting United States v. Hernandez, 299 F.3d
984, 992 (8th Cir. 2002)). The sufficiency of an indictment
is determined from its face. There is no summary judgment
procedure in criminal cases nor do the rules provide for a
pretrial determination of the sufficiency of the evidence.
See United States v. Nabors, 45 F.3d 238, 240 (8th
Cir. 1995); United States v. Critzer, 951 F.2d 306,
307 (11th Cir. 1992). An indictment is normally ...