Federal Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana Violation Under 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(vii) – CASA Track I Granted!

Recently, at the United States District Court, Central District of California, our client, who was charged in Count One with a felony violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(vii), Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, was accepted into the Conviction and Sentence Alternatives (CASA) program.[1]

It was alleged that our client was operating a power sailboat fifteen (15) miles off the coast when his sailboat began to experience engine problems and take on water. Our client was contacted by a US Tow Vessel and law enforcement responding to the location eventually seized the approximately 866 kilograms (1,911 pounds) of marijuana on board the sailboat. Our client was arrested and hired our office to assist with his defense.

After initial review of the police reports and other discovery in this matter, we believed that our client would be an exemplary match for the CASA program and began the process of negotiating for this disposition.

In order to achieve this amazing result, we prepared and provided the United States Attorney’s Office with a CASA application containing substantial documentation of equities on behalf of our client, arguing why he would benefit from, and should be accepted into, the CASA program. The application included documentation of our client’s personal history (including his current employment, documentation that our client lacked parental guidance during his formative years, his recent abuse of marijuana, and his battle with depression). We clearly outlined our client’s minimal role in the offense charged and argued his culpability should be lowered based on his cooperation and acceptance of responsibility for his actions. In our application we also outlined our client’s lack of prior criminal history and the substance abuse issues he has suffered from for many years leading up to the offense. After personally meeting with the CASA team, our client was accepted into the program.

Based on his acceptance into the CASA program – Track I, if he successfully completes the program his plea will be withdrawn and his case will be completely dismissed. Acceptance into the CASA program has given our client the opportunity to avoid federal prison time and gain valuable resources from the CASA team – all while earning a complete dismissal!


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[1] For more information on the Conviction and Sentence Alternatives Program see our recent post.