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JOSEPH MAC CASTER v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal law — Sufficiency of the evidence — Conspiracy

When law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a Frostburg apartment, Joseph Mac Caster, appellant, and other occupants of the apartment were arrested in possession of street-ready packages of heroin and cocaine. A jury in the Circuit Court for Allegany County convicted Caster of possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to possess heroin with the intent to distribute, conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of heroin, possession of cocaine, and possession of controlled paraphernalia. The court sentenced Caster to a total of 32 years of imprisonment: 14 years for possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, a consecutive 14 years for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, and a consecutive four years for possession of paraphernalia. The remaining convictions, including both conspiracy convictions, were merged for sentencing purposes.

On appeal, Caster raises the following challenges to his convictions:

1. Was the evidence sufficient to sustain the conspiracy convictions?

2. Did the circuit court err in instructing the jury that possessing cocaine and heroin is unlawful unless one has permission from a medical provider?

Read the opinion here: