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United States v. Massat

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division

November 14, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT CHARLES MASSAT, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DANETA WOLLMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pending are Defendant's Third Motion to Dismiss the Indictment Based on Duplicity and Vagueness (Doc. 68); Second Motion to Compel Disclosure of Grand Jury Transcript (Doc. 70); and Motion for Bill of Particulars (Doc. 76). Both parties have submitted briefs on each motion. Based on a careful consideration of all the evidence, and counsel's written arguments, the Court respectfully makes the following:

         RECOMMENDATION

         It is respectfully recommended that Defendant's Third Motion to Dismiss the Indictment Based on Duplicity and Vagueness (Doc. 68) be denied. It is further recommended that Defendant's Second Motion to Compel Disclosure of Grand Jury Transcript (Doc. 70) be denied. It is further recommended that Defendant's Motion for Bill of Particulars (Doc. 76) be denied.

         JURISDICTION

         Defendant is charged in an Indictment with Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(A). The pending Motions were referred to the Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(B) and Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken's Standing Order dated March 9, 2015.

         BACKGROUND

         A grand jury indicted Defendant Robert Charles Massat on July 21, 2015. The indictment contains a single count and reads as follows:

Beginning on or about 2013, and continuing through the date of this Indictment, in the District of South Dakota and elsewhere, the defendant, Robert Charles Massat, did knowingly and intentionally combine, conspire, confederate and agree with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to knowingly and intentionally distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, and salts of its isomers, a Schedule II controlled substance, all in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(A).

(Doc. 2).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Third Motion to Dismiss Indictment Based on Duplicity and Vagueness (Doc. 68)

         Mr. Massat argues that the indictment, which charges him with a single count of conspiracy, is both duplicitous and vague because the discovery shows that he may have been involved in more than one conspiracy. Mr. Massat claims he “no longer understands what conspiracy is alleged against him, ” (Doc. 69 at p. 3), and accordingly he cannot adequately prepare for trial. Mr. Massat further argues that if the government presents evidence of multiple conspiracies at trial, a variance will occur and it will be impossible to determine which conspiracy forms the basis for a conviction on the single count. In the same vein, Mr. Massat claims “it is impossible to know if the grand jurors . . . were presented with multiple conspiracies upon which they could only return an indictment on a single conspiracy count[.]” (Doc. 69 at p. 4).

         In support of his motion, Mr. Massat claims the “thousands of pages of discovery” (Doc. 69 at p. 2) link him to multiple sources of methamphetamine, both known and unknown, and a variety of other associates or distributors that changed over time. Mr. Massat argues that the discovery shows he worked with different sources and distributors during the time frame charged in the indictment. Therefore, he must have been involved in multiple conspiracies, contrary to the single charge in the indictment. The government responds that the discovery supports a single conspiracy ...


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