United States v. Charles Lynch

FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, No. 10-50219 Plaintiff-Appellee, D.C. No. v. 2:07-cr-00689-GW-1 CHARLES C. LYNCH, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, No. 10-50264 Plaintiff-Appellant, D.C. No. v. 2:07-cr-00689-GW-1 CHARLES C. LYNCH, Defendant-Appellee. OPINION Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California George H. Wu, District Judge, Presiding Argued and Submitted April 13, 2018 Pasadena, California Filed September 13, 2018 2 UNITED STATES V. LYNCH Before: John M. Rogers, * Jay S. Bybee, and Paul J. Watford, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Rogers; Dissent by Judge Watford SUMMARY ** Criminal Law The panel (1) affirmed Charles Lynch’s conviction for conspiracy to manufacture, possess, and distribute marijuana, as well as other charges related to his ownership of a marijuana dispensary in Morro Bay, California; (2) on the government’s cross-appeal, remanded for resentencing; and (3) instructed the district court on remand to make a factual determination as to whether Lynch’s activities were in compliance with state law. The panel held that the district court’s exclusion of testimony from a lawyer about Lynch’s phone call to the DEA, as well as a recording of this lawyer discussing that call on a radio program, was correct because both pieces of evidence were hearsay to which no exception applied. * The Honorable John M. Rogers, United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting by designation. ** This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader. UNITED STATES V. LYNCH 3 The panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding repetitive and irrelevant evidence about Lynch’s compliance with local laws. The panel held that evidence of a dispensary employee’s marijuana sale to a government agent was not more prejudicial than probative, and was generally harmless given Lynch’s concession of factual guilt. The panel held that the district court correctly excluded as hearsay a statement the employee made to an investigator that Lynch “didn’t know anything about this deal.” The panel held that there was no error in the district court’s handling of a number of pieces of evidence that Lynch contends were impermissibly inflammatory, and that any would be harmless. The panel rejected Lynch’s claim that evidence he subsequently discovered about the United States’ prosecution priorities should have been disclosed to him pursuant to Brady v. Maryland. The panel held that the evidence was not exculpatory of Lynch or otherwise relevant to his case. The panel held that because Lynch did not show facts providing a basis on which a reasonable jury could find that he was entitled to the defense of entrapment by estoppel, he was not entitled to present that defense in the first place, and the district court did not err in any decisions it made with respect to it. The panel held that the district court did not commit any error by ...

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