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United States v. Goree

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

June 24, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LEROY GOREE, Defendant-Appellant

Argued May 21, 2014

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 10 CR 778 -- Robert M. Dow, Jr., Judge.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Erik Hogstrom, Attorney, Office of The United States Attorney, Chicago, IL.

For Leroy Goree, Defendant - Appellant: Peter W. Henderson, Attorney, John C. Taylor, Attorney, Office of The Federal Public Defender, Urbana, IL.

Before BAUER, ROVNER, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 523

Bauer, Circuit Judge.

Leroy Goree (" Goree" ) was convicted by a jury of conspiring to knowingly and intentionally possess with intent to distribute less than 28 grams of crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § § 841(a)(1) and 846. Goree now appeals to this court, asserting that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support the jury's verdict. For the reasons that follow, we affirm Goree's conviction.

I. BACKGROUND

On April 29, 2008, and May 6, 2008, Goree and Vanessa Woods (" Woods" ) drove from St. Louis, Missouri, to Chicago, Illinois, in Goree's minivan in order to purchase crack cocaine. On both occasions, when they arrived in Chicago, they followed Christopher Gavin (" Gavin" ) to the parking lot of Garfield Gyros, a restaurant on the south side of the city. Gavin was a broker who purchased crack cocaine from Isaiah Hicks (" Hicks" ), a known large-scale supplier of crack cocaine. Hicks was the target of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (" ATF" ) wiretap investigation that lasted from February 2008 to May 2008; Hicks's conversations during this time were recorded, and ATF agents were able to surveil the Garfield Gyros parking lot and witness the drug deals at issue in this case.

A. The April 29, 2008, Drug Transaction

On April 29, 2008, Gavin called Hicks and arranged to buy approximately 9 ounces of crack cocaine for $4,900. Hicks then called Kevin Masuca (" Masuca" ), his delivery man, and ordered Masuca to deliver four 63-gram bags of crack cocaine to Gavin in the parking lot of Garfield Gyros. Masuca went to the parking lot and met with Gavin in the backseat of Gavin's car. He gave Gavin a black plastic bag full of crack cocaine in exchange for cash, then left the parking lot. After Masuca left,

Page 524

Gavin walked to Goree's minivan and had a brief conversation with Goree and Woods. He handed over the black plastic bag containing the crack cocaine to Woods, then returned to his car and left the ...


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