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A Legal Perspective On Jerome Simpson's Situation

Admittedly when cases like Jerome Simpson's are raised from dormancy, we have a certain ignorance with legal issues. Furthermore the limited information being provided for an honest assessment isn't availing prognosticators much in what to expect. My reaction today is the same as it was yesterday: "he gonna get it now." But as such, there's more to the story than we always know. So we branched out and asked for some help in developing our base of knowledge on what could happen and perhaps what to expect.

We spoke with defense attorney Scott M. Calaway with Ross & Calaway L.L.C about some of the issues facing Jerome Simpson.

Narcotics agents were reportedly granted consent to enter Jerome Simpson's home, finding an additional six pounds of marijuana during their search of the house. Why wouldn't an arrest be made after the discovery of six additional pounds inside the home, along with tools for a possible distribution ring?

Often federal agents don't bring charges on these until the indictment comes through. Also it is common that they will not arrest the people but interview them to try to get information on the rest of the operation. Breaking a conspiracy, you move up. So they interview people and then try to set things up. Not arresting them can leave them with some leverage for negotiating with the people they have. They may even use these people to continue the operation for a while to get others (like who mailed it and how the operation worked). It's fairly common. They usually try to keep it quiet in the press when they do that.

Is it possible that with law enforcement determining who would prosecute, it would prevent any arrests being made and that those arrests will happen once it's determined who would prosecute?

Yes that is also a very real possibility. The spokesperson was from California. This could easily be federal since its is interstate and via mail. But really the feds had to be involved. They may just be deciding who wants it (state federal or the postal service may have their own, or who can give them the most time).

A third-party signed for the delivery of 2.5 pounds of marijuana. How much could both players be prosecuted if they had no part of the alleged operation, but were aware of it because it was in the house?

If they had knowledge of the operation but just let them use the house, they can be charged the same as the principal offenders under conspiracy. The prosecutors need only show an affirmative act on their part (i.e. use of the home) in the furtherance of the criminal operation, to prosecute under conspiracy.

If the feds are looking to expand their investigation that focus' on the overall operation (who delivered, etc..), could the players avoid jail time?

Rarely will the feds let you go completely free on that level of federal drug conspiracy. Honestly its too early to tell on the jail end. Depends on how they are charged and the full scope of the operation and their role in the conspiracy. But because it is pot the sentencing is lower than say, cocaine. I would harbor a guess that if they cooperated and gave them bigger fish, they have a small chance of avoiding significant federal time, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I would be surprised if they didn't do time.

If the feds decide to prosecute both players, could interstate commerce laws be brought into it?

Yes. Any prosecution by the feds would most likely be based on RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). the interstate nature and use of the mail makes it federal.

If arrested, what's the worst case scenario that the Bengals players could face?

Too many factors to really tell. Depends on how they are charged. State or federal. Possession or trafficking or RICI (conspiracy to commit). If they have records or not. If they cut a deal or not. But on the facts shown, easily many years in prison. In Ohio on merely a state trafficking charge they would be looking at an F3 (1-5 years) with a presumption for prison. The federal sentencing would be MUCH worse. (Federal sentencing guidelines have too many factors to venture a guess without knowing the charges but they are looking at MAJOR time. I can't imagine this wouldn't be federal