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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 21, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Joseph A. McClusky, Lorna S. McClusky, and William Dennis Massey, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Armard Reeves.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Christopher Scruggs, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

The defendant, Armard Reeves, was convicted of one count of unlawful and knowing possession with intent to deliver three hundred pounds (300 lbs) (136,050 grams) or more of a controlled substance, to wit: marijuana. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range I offender to the maximum sentence of twenty-five years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The defendant was arrested as a part of a larger investigation that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) were conducting into narcotics distribution. On appeal, the defendant argues that: (1) the trial court erred when it failed to instruct the jury as to the lesser-included offense of facilitation; (2) the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly possessed the amount of marijuana in question; (3) the trial court erred when it failed to instruct the jury that the defendant must knowingly possess certain amounts of marijuana; (4) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; (5) the trial court erred when it failed to grant the defendant’s motion to suppress; and (6) the trial court improperly sentenced the defendant to the maximum sentence for a Range I offender. After a thorough review of the record we conclude that facilitation was properly omitted as a jury instruction, that the “knowing” mens rea requirement does not apply to the amount of marijuana, the evidence was sufficient to support the defendant’s conviction, the trial court did not err in denying the motion to suppress, and that the defendant was properly sentenced to the maximum term of incarceration.