United States v. Shippley, No. 11-1076 (10th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Defendant-Appellant Anthony Shippley served as the "Sergeant at Arms" for a chapter of the Mongols Motorcycle Club. After a massive nationwide investigation and "take down" of the club in 2008, Defendant was arrested on federal drug conspiracy charges. His chief accuser, Benjamine Maestas (a former club president, longtime felon, and federal informant) testified at trial that Defendant was responsible for supplying considerable amounts of high quality cocaine for resale to retail customers. The jury returned a general verdict finding Defendant guilty. But in response to the court's special interrogatories, the jury indicated that Defendant had not conspired to distribute any of the drugs listed in the indictment. "In effect, the jury both convicted and acquitted Mr. Shippley of the charged conspiracy." The district court ordered the jury to deliberate further; further deliberations quickly yielded an unambiguous guilty verdict. Defendant appealed his conviction. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit could "not say the district court's chosen course was legally impermissible, at least not for the reasons [Defendant] offer[ed]." The Court ultimately rejected Defendant's challenges to a second and separate drug conviction as well as to a sentencing enhancement. Accordingly, the Tenth Circuit affirmed Defendant's convictions and sentence.