United States v. Farah, No. 13-6147 (6th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Farah was a member of the Somali Outlaws gang, but renounced his affiliation with the gang. In 2010, while in immigration custody Farah agreed to assist in a government investigation. Farah believed that he would receive immunity from prosecution, reversal of the revocation of his work permit, help obtaining citizenship and release from custody. Farah was granted transactional immunity, testified before the grand jury, and assisted with the identification and location of gang members. Gang members apparently suspected his involvement and threatened Farah, who then refused to testify at trials concerning conspiracies including sex trafficking of minors, interstate transportation of stolen goods. and other offenses. Farah was convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. 401(3), for willfully disobeying an order requiring his testimony by deposition and for violating 18 U.S.C. 1591(d), which prohibits obstruction, or attempt to obstruct enforcement of section 1591(a), a child sex trafficking statute. The Sixth Circuit vacated the section 401(3) conviction as violating the Double Jeopardy Clause and the rule of Yates v. United States. Farah’s Double Jeopardy rights were only partly violated because he was also convicted of obstructing or attempting to obstruct the child sex trafficking laws; that conviction passes the “same elements” test of Blockburger v. United States.