U.S. v. Cureton

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Criminal Court
Case Number: 
Nos. 12-1250 & 12-1251 Cons.
Decision Date: 
January 13, 2014
Federal District: 
S.D. Ill.
Affirmed and vacated in part and remanded
In prosecution on attempted extortion and interstate communication of ransom request, as well as three counts of unlawful drug distribution, Dist. Ct. arguably erred by admitting evidence that defendant stole $9,500 from others during drug sale in uncharged incident, since: (1) such evidence arguably established defendant's propensity to commit charged crimes; and (2) how defendant had acquired said money did not give him greater motivation to commit charged offenses. However, any error was harmless given the strength of other evidence in record. Also, one of two counts of unlawful use of firearms under 18 USC 924(c)(1)(A)(i) must be vacated, where offenses of communication of interstate ransom request and attempted extortion were premised on same, single use of firearm when defendant forced victim at gunpoint to make telephone calls demanding money for release.