HARRIS V. UNITED STATES, 359 U. S. 19 (1959)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Harris v. United States, 359 U.S. 19 (1959)

Harris v. United States

No. 11

Argued January 13-14, 1959

Decided March 2, 1959

359 U.S. 19


A two-count indictment charged petitioner with (1) the purchase of 224 grains of heroin from an unstamped package, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 4704 (a); and (2) receiving and concealing this same drug, knowing it to have been unlawfully imported, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 174. At the trial, the Government introduced into evidence the heroin itself and testimony that petitioner had been in possession of it, and petitioner offered no explanation of his possession of the same.

Held: in view of the separate statutory presumptions, proof of possession of unstamped heroin, in the absence of explanation, was sufficient to support a conviction by the jury on each of the counts as covering entirely separate offenses, and consecutive sentences of five years' imprisonment on each count were valid where based upon such separate offenses under different sections of the narcotics laws. Pp. 359 U. S. 19-24.

248 F.2d 196 affirmed.

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