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State v. Glass

Supreme Court of Montana

May 30, 2017

STATE OF MONTANA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
BRUCE ANTHONY GLASS, Defendant and Appellant.

          Submitted on Briefs: March 29, 2017

         Appeal From: District Court of the Twenty-First Judicial District, In and For the County of Ravalli, Cause No. DC 14-152 Honorable Jeffrey H. Langton, Presiding Judge

          For Appellant: Chad Wright, Chief Appellate Defender, James Reavis, Assistant Appellate Defender, Helena, Montana.

          For Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Tammy A. Hinderman, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana William Fulbright, Ravalli County Attorney, Thorin Geist, Deputy County Attorney, Hamilton, Montana.

          OPINION

          JAMES JEREMIAH SHEA JUDGE.

         ¶1 Defendant Bruce Anthony Glass appeals the July 30, 2015 opinion and order by the Twenty-First Judicial District Court, Ravalli County, denying his Motion to Dismiss Due to Double Jeopardy Violation and subsequent November 19, 2015 judgment sentencing him to the Department of Corrections for five years, suspended. We address the following issue:

Whether the District Court erred by ruling that Glass's federal conviction for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine did not bar a subsequent state prosecution for possession of dangerous drugs on double jeopardy grounds.

         ¶2 We affirm.

         PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         ¶3 In February 2014, Glass received a package through the U.S. Postal Service from Miguel Sarabia in California. The package contained over eight pounds of methamphetamine. Glass paid for the methamphetamine by depositing $80, 000 into a Wells Fargo bank account. Glass distributed most of the methamphetamine to his contacts, and kept about eight ounces for himself. In May 2014, Glass met Sarabia in California, where he paid $10, 000 for sixteen ounces of methamphetamine. Glass distributed fourteen ounces to a contact, and kept two ounces for himself.

         ¶4 The Ravalli County Police Department received information from confidential sources that Glass was bringing methamphetamine into the county from out-of-state, and that Glass and another individual were preparing to drive between California and Montana. On June 11, 2014, Ravalli County Deputy Sheriff Gordy Jessop stopped a Toyota Sequoia pulling a trailer with nonfunctioning lights near Stevensville, Montana. Glass was driving the car. Pursuant to a subsequently issued search warrant for the vehicle, officers seized fourteen marijuana roaches from the ashtray, a sunglasses case, and three firearms and ammunition, as well as other items associated with the distribution of drugs. The sunglasses case contained a bag of unidentified pills, as well as a pipe, spoon, and syringes, all with residue that tested positive for methamphetamine.

         ¶5 On June 23, 2014, the State arrested Glass and subsequently charged him by Amended Information with one count of felony criminal distribution of dangerous drugs (methamphetamine), in violation of § 45-9-101(1), MCA; one count of felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs (methamphetamine), in violation of § 45-9-102(1), MCA; one count of misdemeanor possession of dangerous drugs (marijuana), in violation of § 45-9-102(1), MCA; and one count of misdemeanor criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, in violation of § 45-10-103(1), MCA. Glass pled not guilty to all charges.

         ¶6 On October 2, 2014, the federal government charged Glass by indictment in the United States District Court for the District of Montana with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii). Glass pled guilty to the conspiracy to distribute charge in federal court pursuant to a plea agreement. On May 21, 2015, the federal district court sentenced Glass to 140 months of imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release.

         ¶7 On June 10, 2015, Glass moved to dismiss the State's charges, arguing that the State prosecution violated Montana's double jeopardy prohibition. See ยง 46-11-504, MCA. The State conceded that the distribution of methamphetamine charge was barred, but opposed Glass's motion as it pertained to the possession charges. The State argued the possession charges did not involve the same criminal objective as Glass's federal conviction for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and the conduct forming the basis for the possession charges was not necessary or incidental to the purpose of distributing methamphetamine. The State maintained the methamphetamine had already been consumed and was no longer available for sale. The District Court denied Glass's motion to dismiss, ...


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