United States v. Smith-Kilpatrick, No. 18-1671 (6th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Wilson recruited people near Escanaba and taught them how to package, transport, price, and sell heroin and crack cocaine. One or two women would travel as passengers to pick up the drugs from Wilson and would conceal the drugs in their vaginal cavities until returning to the Upper Peninsula. The drugs were then removed and sold. Eventually, a member of the conspiracy went to the police with information. They set up controlled buys that confirmed the trafficking of drugs. Subsequent police raids turned up heroin and crack cocaine, cash, a drug ledger, cell phones, and MoneyGram receipts that listed who sent and received money. The police extracted the phones’ call logs and contact lists and obtained call records and subscriber information from the phone companies by subpoena. The phone records revealed a network of coconspirators, including Smith-Kilpatrick, Wilson, his mother, and two others. Wilson and another pleaded guilty. Smith-Kilpatrick and two others were convicted. The Sixth Circuit affirmed Smith-Kilpatrick’s conviction, rejecting arguments that the trial court made evidentiary errors; no rational jury could have convicted her based on the evidence, and her 96-month sentence was procedurally and substantively unreasonable. The court upheld the admission of records of phone calls and wire transfers, hotel records, and car rental documents and of out-of-court statements by co-conspirators.