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United States v. Kellum

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

December 31, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ALEX KELLUM, Defendant.

          FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

          Laurie Smith Camp Senior United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court for Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(c), following a nonjury trial held on December 11, 2019. At trial, the United States was represented by Matt E. Lierman. The Defendant, Alex Kellum, was represented by Chinedu Igbokwe.

         SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT

         The Superseding Indictment charges Kellum with three counts of violating 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1). It alleges that on or about September 6, 2017; December 20, 2017; and April 27, 2018, in the District of Nebraska, Defendant Alex Kellum did knowingly and intentionally distribute 28 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base (i.e., “crack cocaine”), a Schedule II controlled substance. Each count alleges that, before Kellum committed the offense, he had a final conviction for a serious drug felony, namely, a conviction under 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) & (b)(1), for which he served more than 12 months of imprisonment and for which he was released from imprisonment related to that offense within 15 years of the commencement of the current offense. Kellum pleaded not guilty to the charges.

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         The Court makes the following findings of fact. Any finding of fact that is more properly considered a conclusion of law should be deemed as such. Unless otherwise indicated, all findings of fact relate to the time relevant to the facts alleged in the Superseding Indictment.

         Stipulated Facts

         The parties entered into the following stipulations which are deemed proven and uncontroverted. Gov't Exs. 20-21.

         1. In connection with this case, suspected controlled substances were sent to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Laboratory and Nebraska Public Service Laboratory so that the substances could be weighed and tested to determine their chemical composition.

         2. Forensic chemists at the laboratory weighed and analyzed the substances sent to them in this case. The tests and analyses they performed are generally accepted within the field of forensic chemistry.

         3. Based on the laboratory testing, the parties agree as follows:

a. Exhibit 1 contains 27.7 grams and 27.9 grams of cocaine base (crack cocaine)
b. Exhibit 2 contains 55.3 grams of cocaine base (crack cocaine)
c. Exhibit 3 contains 54.423 grams of cocaine base (crack cocaine)

         4. Kellum was previously convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute more than 5 grams but less than 50 grams of crack cocaine in the District of Nebraska.

         5. Kellum was arrested on or about January 17, 2003, and sentenced on or about August 27, 2003, for the offense described in paragraph 4.

         6. Kellum was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 70 months incarceration on or about August 27, 2003, for the offense described in paragraph 4.

         7. Kellum served a term of imprisonment of more than 12 months for the offense described in paragraph 4, specifically, Kellum's sentence was imposed on or about August 27, 2003; he was committed to the Bureau of Prisons-FCI Greenville on or about October 9, 2003; and released on or about December 4, 2007.

         Trial Testimony and Evidence

         8. James Patrick Paul is a retired police officer and detective from the Omaha Police Department.

         9. Detective Paul was cross-deputized as a federal task force officer with the Greater Omaha Safe Streets Task Force (Task Force) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

         10. In the Spring of 2017, in his role with the Task Force, Detective Paul used a cooperating source to make controlled purchases of crack cocaine from Theodore Relford.

         11. In August 2017, Detective Paul interviewed Relford. In this interview, Relford gave Detective Paul information regarding two individuals allegedly involved in narcotics distribution. These individuals were Defendant Alex Kellum, known by the alias “A.D., ” and Thomas Lewis, known by the alias “Cable Man.”

         12. Relford agreed to work initially as a confidential informant and later as a cooperating source for Detective Paul in order to obtain beneficial treatment regarding potential narcotics charges arising from the controlled purchases.

         13. As a confidential informant and cooperating source, Relford agreed to make ...


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