United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
February 7, 2019
Appeals from the United States District Court for the
District of Columbia (No. 1:04-cr-00285-3), (No.
Lawrence J. Joseph argued the cause and filed the briefs for
Shanker, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the
cause and filed the brief for appellee.
Before: Pillard and Katsas, Circuit Judges, and Edwards,
Senior Circuit Judge.
EDWARDS, SENIOR CIRCUIT JUDGE:
2004, Appellants, John Wayne Scantlebury
("Scantlebury") and Sean Gaskin
("Gaskin"), who are residents of Barbados, along
with another Barbadian resident - Frederick Christopher
Hawkesworth ("Hawkesworth") - and two Guyanese
residents, were indicted by a grand jury in Washington, D.C.,
for conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Scantlebury, Gaskin, and
Hawkesworth (who is now deceased) all challenged extradition
to the United States. The disputes over extradition lasted
for over nine years. Finally, in December 2013, the U.S.
Government moved to dismiss the charges against Scantlebury,
Gaskin, and Hawkesworth without prejudice, citing "the
age of the case, government resources, and other factual and
legal issues which indicate the case is no longer
viable." Joint Appendix ("J.A.") 41. The
District Court granted the Government's motion to dismiss
on January 9, 2014.
argue that prosecutors in the United States knew for years,
well before they moved to dismiss the charges, that the cases
had "cratered" and that there was no probable cause
to support the indictments. Appellants therefore assert that
the District Court should have dismissed the indictments with
prejudice. On appeal, Appellants seek a remand to the
District Court with instructions to dismiss the charges with
prejudice. The Government in turn contends that this court
has no basis upon which to entertain this appeal. We agree
with the Government.
we are bound by the Supreme Court's decision in Parr
v. United States, 351 U.S. 513 (1956). In Parr,
the Court held that, without more, a criminal defendant whose
indictment is dismissed without prejudice is not aggrieved
and, therefore, has no standing to appeal. Id. at
516-17. Second, even assuming, arguendo, that the
threat of subsequent prosecution might be sufficient in some
cases to support an appeal of a dismissal without prejudice,
the statute of limitations has run on the charges against
Appellants, so the question is moot. Third, Appellants assert
ongoing reputational injuries allegedly caused by their
arrest and indictment records. But they lack standing to
pursue these claims because dismissing the indictment with
prejudice would not redress the alleged reputational harms.
Finally, we hold that the court lacks jurisdiction to
consider Appellants' request for declaratory relief.
U.S. Government began investigating Hawkesworth for cocaine
trafficking in 2000. The Government suspected that Raphel
Douglas ("Douglas") and Terrence Sugrim
("Sugrim") were supplying cocaine from Guyana to
Hawkesworth. And Appellants were suspected of assisting
Hawkesworth in an international drug trafficking operation
that distributed cocaine in Barbados and transported cocaine
from Barbados and Guyana to the United States.
of its investigation, the Government worked with an unnamed
confidential informant. The informant allegedly spoke with
Appellants and Hawkesworth on several occasions and made
plans to help them transport cocaine to the United States.
2004, a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., returned a
two-count indictment against Scantlebury, Gaskin,
Hawkesworth, Douglas, and Sugrim. The first count alleged
that all five defendants had conspired to distribute more
than five kilograms of cocaine. The second count alleged that
Hawkesworth and Douglas distributed 500 grams or more of
cocaine. With respect to Appellants specifically, the
indictment alleged that they "obtained false
identification cards and documents in order to travel to the
United States to facilitate the importation of cocaine from
Barbados, Guyana and elsewhere into the United States."
J.A. 35. The indictment stated that Hawkesworth was the
leader of the organization, which had allegedly shipped 184
kilograms of cocaine from Guyana to JFK Airport in New York
City. The indictment also alleged that Scantlebury and Gaskin
met with the informant to discuss whether contacts were in
place for a test shipment of cocaine and that the informant
provided Scantlebury and Gaskin with fake identification
indictment, the Government sought extradition of Scantlebury,
Gaskin, and Hawkesworth from Barbados and Douglas and Sugrim
from Guyana. Douglas was extradited, but Sugrim was never
taken into custody. The three Barbadian defendants were
arrested by Barbadian law enforcement officials, but they
challenged extradition and remained in Barbados. All three
were released on bail in late 2004 or early 2005. Then, for
reasons that are not indicated in the record, their bail was
revoked and they returned to jail in Barbados in 2011.
Scantlebury, Gaskin, and Hawkesworth remained incarcerated in
Barbados from 2011 until the indictments were dismissed on
January 9, 2014.
support of its requests for extradition from Barbados, the
U.S. Government submitted affidavits written by a Senior
Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division of the Department of
Justice ("Trial Attorney"), a Drug Enforcement
Administration ("DEA") special agent, and the
confidential informant. The Trial Attorney's affidavit
stated that the evidence against the defendants included the
testimony of the confidential informant and of DEA agents,
audio and video recordings of conversations, photographs,
telephone records, passport records, airline records, and
seized cocaine. The DEA special agent's affidavit stated
that 184 kilograms of cocaine, packed in a shipment of frozen
seafood, was seized at JFK Airport on September 20, 2003, and
that, later that day, the confidential informant met with
Sugrim and Hawkesworth, who said that they had lost a load of
180 kilograms of cocaine that had been shipped to JFK. The
DEA affidavit also noted that the confidential informant
"was told that nobody was arrested." J.A. 132. In
addition, the DEA affidavit noted that the confidential
informant had worked with the DEA for approximately five
years and had proven to be "completely reliable."
Id. at 129.
support of its request for extradition of Douglas, U.S.
Government officials made several additional statements
attesting to the reliability of the confidential informant.
Id. at 160. Douglas was extradited from Trinidad to
the United States in October 2005. It was later determined,
however, that several of the Government's claims made in
support of the confidential informant's reliability were
not true. See id. at 225-31. In February 2007, the
U.S. Government moved to dismiss without prejudice the
District of Columbia indictment against Douglas. The motion
was granted by the District Court.
Government subsequently filed a second indictment against
Douglas, Hawkesworth, and Sugrim in the Eastern District of
New York on narcotics and use of telephone charges. In the
New York case, the Government acknowledged that there were
inaccuracies in the materials that it had submitted
supporting Douglas's extradition. Douglas ...