United States v. Neeley, No. 16-1832 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The defendants were involved in a North Vernon, Indiana methamphetamine‐distribution conspiracy. Neeley supplied much of the methamphetamine that she and Maggard distributed to other dealers, including Bell and Jackson. Neeley sold Jackson a particularly potent batch of capsulated methamphetamine that killed Jackson’s wife, Jessie. For several hours after friends noticed that Jessie was sweating and convulsing in bed, Jackson did not assist her. He refused to take her to the hospital or call an ambulance, although she was unconscious. An acquaintance called one. Before the ambulance arrived, Jackson disposed of his drugs and paraphernalia by passing them to a neighbor out the back door of his home. The government was already investigating the conspiracy and had orders authorizing wire and electronic surveillance of Maggard’s phones. Through this surveillance, the government intercepted communications between Maggard, Bell, and Neeley, among many others. The defendants (and 15 others) were charged with 23 counts. The indictment contained allegations about sentencing enhancements, including: “that death resulted from the use of methamphetamine distributed by [Jackson and Neeley].” The Seventh Circuit affirmed the defendants’ convictions, rejecting challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence and upholding the admission of evidence related to Jessie’s death and the government’s wiretap evidence as compliant with 18 U.S.C. 2518(3)(c).