United States v. Lawrence, et al., No. 12-20430 (5th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Defendants appealed their conviction for conspiracy to possess illicit substances aboard an aircraft with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. 963. Defendants' convictions stemmed from their participation in a plan to transport cocaine from South America to the United Kingdom on board commercial airplanes. The court concluded that Congress intended that the substantive crime underlying the conspiracy charge - possession with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. 959(b) - applied extraterritorially; section 963 could be applied extraterritorially; under Blackmer v. United States, application of section 959(b) to Defendant Parker, a U.S. citizen, did not violate the Due Process Clause; extraterritorial application of section 959(b)(2) in this case was permissible as implementing Congress' treaty-making power under the Necessary and Proper Clause; and the recital of facts and the elements of conspiracy to commit the relevant offense was sufficient to enable defendants to prepare their defenses. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.