Submitted on Briefs: March 29, 2017
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
Appellant: Chad Wright, Chief Appellate Defender, James
Reavis, Assistant Appellate Defender, Helena, Montana.
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.
JEREMIAH SHEA JUDGE.
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.
AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
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.
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.
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.
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.
On June 10, 2015, Glass moved to dismiss the State's
charges, arguing that the State prosecution violated
Montana's double jeopardy prohibition. See
§ 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,