In an Appeal Raising Various Trial and Sentencing Issues, the Court of Appeals Rejected all of the Defendant’S Arguments Regarding an Agent’S Testimony and Found the Defendant’S Sentence was not Unreasonable

Seventh Circuit Criminal Case Summaries: Evidence - Experts

United States v. Cheek, No. 12-2472. Cheek was charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute crack cocaine and marijuana. He was convicted after a jury trial and sentenced to 576 months in prison. The Court of Appeals held the district court did not plainly err when it admitted an agent’s testimony about the meaning of code words and when it permitted the government to provide the jury with transcripts containing the agent’s interpretations of various words and phrases. The district court did not err by imposing an obstruction of justice enhancement for a letter written to Cheek’s family member discussing the testimony against him. The district court’s failure to comply with 21 U.S.C. § 851(b) was harmless error and his sentence was not unreasonable.