United States v. Darwich – Case Brief Summary (Federal Court)

In United States v. Darwich, 337 F.3d 645 (6th Cir. 2003), the Sixth Circuit concluded that statements made by a co-conspirator were inadmissible because they constituted casual conversation about past events, which was not in furtherance of the conspiracy. There, the defendant was convicted of selling marijuana out of a market he owned and operated. Id. at 650.

A regular customer of his testified that he had purchased marijuana from the defendant and that the defendant sold approximately a pound of marijuana each day. Id. at 651.

The customer stated that he could estimate the amount of marijuana that the defendant sold because the customer's nephews, who packaged marijuana for the defendant, would occasionally tell him how much marijuana they had packaged when he would pick them up. Id.

The court determined that the statements made by the customer's nephews were not admissible under the co-conspirator exception to the hearsay rule because they constituted mere idle chatter. Id. at 657.