849 F2d 1477 United States v. Tam

849 F.2d 1477

Unpublished Disposition

NOTICE: Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3 provides that dispositions other than opinions or orders designated for publication are not precedential and should not be cited except when relevant under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Lun Woon TAM, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 87-5212.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Argued and Submitted June 9, 1988.
Decided June 13, 1988.


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Lun Woon Tam (Tam) appeals her jury conviction for aiding and abetting the importation of heroin in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2 (1982) and 21 U.S.C. Secs. 952, 960 (1982 & Supp. IV 1986). Tam was arrested on March 8, 1987 as she attempted to clear customs at Los Angeles International Airport. We hold that the district court did not err by refusing to submit special interrogatories to the jury and that the verdict was supported by sufficient evidence.


The decision whether to submit special interrogatories in a criminal case rests with the trial court. See United States v. O'Looney, 544 F.2d 385, 392 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 1023 (1976). Assuming, arguendo, that interrogatories may be submitted after the jury reaches its verdict, see United States v. Mandujano, 499 F.2d 370, 378 (5th Cir.1974), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 1114 (1975), it was not an abuse of discretion to deny Tam's request. The instructions submitted by the court in response to the jury's first note correctly stated the law and were sufficient to clarify any confusion regarding the government's burden of proof on the aiding and abetting count, including the knowledge element. The jury's inability to reach a verdict on the other count of the indictment did not mandate further inquiry by the court. United States v. Powell, 469 U.S. 57, 66 (1984).


The evidence presented in this case was sufficient for the jury to conclude that Tam knew she was carrying a controlled substance. A laboratory test disclosed that Tam's suitcase contained 4,198.5 grams of heroin. "Possession of a large quantity of narcotics alone may be sufficient in some cases to support a finding that one knowingly possessed the heroin." United States v. Walitwarangkul, 808 F.2d 1352, 1354 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 107 S.Ct. 1909 (1987). Tam's knowledge also may be inferred from the circumstantial evidence that she had a claim check and key to the suitcase, attempted to leave the area before inspection, appeared nervous when questioned by the agents, and changed her story about whether she owned the suitcase. Id.


The district court's judgment is AFFIRMED.


This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by 9th Cir.R. 36-3