You are a Wichita Police Department detective working in the major crimes unit, and you are assigned to a joint federal–state–city crime task force working on a number of major drug cases. Over a period of several months, your task force has been able to gather information and make cases on several of the drug suppliers, drug dealers, and drug buyers in the Wichita metropolitan area. The task force is about to complete its mission by filing criminal charges in the federal district court, the state district court, or the Wichita Municipal Court against these various suspects. These suspects will not be arrested until the warrants are issued.
Your job is to make recommendations concerning which jurisdictions should file the charges on which defendants. You will need to evaluate the criminal statutes and penalties in each jurisdiction and even the rules of evidence to determine where your task force has the best chance of obtaining a conviction and in getting the punishment to fit the crime.
The memo that you receive from your Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) task force supervisor explains the situation:
Re: Charging Decisions
You are the primary investigator in the cases against Jones, Smith, and Thompson. As I review your reports, it appears that each of these cases has strengths and weaknesses that we should evaluate before we determine whether to file charges in the U.S. District Court, the Sedgwick County District Court for the State of Kansas, or the Wichita Municipal Court. I will summarize those strengths and weaknesses here to make sure I am reading your reports correctly. I need you to give me advice on where you think these charges should be brought.
Jones has been working for you as a confidential informant because you have evidence against him for a February 6, 2005 third possession of cocaine after convictions in 1993 and 1994. He appears to have followed the terms of his deal with you to introduce our undercover agents to his dealer. We have promised not to prosecute for any drug offenses he may commit in the presence of our undercover agent while playing the role of our informant. His assistance has enabled us to get sufficient evidence on Smith and Thompson to obtain convictions. Based on Jones’ two prior convictions for possession of cocaine, we would normally want him to go to federal court, where the maximum sentences are available. However, because of his cooperation, we could file the case in the Sedgwick County, Kansas, and district court under state law. We could even change the charge to a drug paraphernalia offense and send his case to the city of Wichita.
- How do you think we should proceed concerning Jones’ February 6, 2005 cocaine possession? (30%)
- He will probably plead guilty unless we send him to federal court. Where do you want to file the case? (20%)