United States of America, Appellee, v. Larry Black, Appellant, 422 F.2d 398 (4th Cir. 1970)

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit - 422 F.2d 398 (4th Cir. 1970) Argued December 3, 1969Decided February 17, 1970

Robert M. Alexander, Arlington, Va. (court-appointed counsel), for appellant.

David G. Lowe, Asst. U. S. Atty. (Brian P. Gettings, U. S. Atty., and Alfred D. Swersky, Asst. U. S. Atty., on the brief), for appellee.

Before SOBELOFF, BRYAN, and BUTZNER, Circuit Judges.


Larry Black appeals his conviction for receiving and concealing four capsules of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 174. The sole issue presented on appeal concerns the constitutionality of that part of Section 174 which provides that possession of the narcotic drug "shall be deemed sufficient evidence to authorize conviction unless the defendant explains the possession to the satisfaction of the jury."

In Turner v. United States, 396 U.S. 398, 90 S. Ct. 642, 24 L. Ed. 2d 610 (1970), the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of this statutory inference as it applies to heroin, and we find that case controlling here.

The judgment is affirmed.