WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the appeal of a man who claimed he should not have been convicted in a Baltimore heroin case because he did not actively participate in the drug conspiracy.
The high court, without comment, also rejected Fayaz Anjum’s other claims that his jury got improper instructions and that evidence in the case was incorrectly translated into English.
In his petition, Anjum claims he was unwittingly pulled into the drug deal after the fact and should not have been convicted for aiding and abetting in the Aug. 26, 1991, deal.
The drugs were delivered that day to an undercover U.S. Customs agent and an informant in Baltimore, who made a $15,000 downpayment on the kilogram of heroin. But the courier who was supposed to pick up the remaining $85,000 for the drugs never showed up.
Anjum said he got a call Sept. 4, 1991, from a family friend in Pakistan who asked him to pick up the money from the Baltimore informant and wire it through a bank transfer.
Anjum claimed the government did not prove that he agreed to join the conspiracy, but that he only agreed to collect the money for a longtime family friend.
“If the jury had been given the correct instruction, that a person cannot join the conspiracy after the completion of the actual crime and cannot be held liable for a crime that has been completed,” it would have found him not guilty, Anjum’s petition said.
He also claimed that a taped conversation between him and a conspirator was translated incorrectly from Pushto into English. He said the translation, used as evidence at his trial, added words and changed the tense from past to present.
“The meaning of these translated conversations presented critical disputed factual issues at trial,” Anjum said in court documents.
Anjum’s conviction was affirmed March 18, 1998, by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The prosecutor who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday also refused to hear four other cases from Maryland. The cases, all denied without comment by the court, were:
* An appeal by a Navy retiree who was denied a request to amend her retirement date and collect 75 days of leave she said she lost when she was selected to transfer to the Fleet Reserve. Two lower courts have already rejected Barbara Ann Parker’s claim.
* An appeal by a Patuxent Institution inmate who sued the state, claiming he had been given another inmate’s medication. Leamon Lee Tatum’s lawsuit was thrown out by an Anne Arundel County court for lack of evidence in 1996.
* An appeal by Bal Dev Enand of a legal malpractice suit he filed against his court-appointed attorney in an employment discrimination suit. Enand’s suit has been dismissed by the U.S. District Court and the 4th Circuit.
* An appeal by Charles A. Dread, who asked to have the court set aside lower court decisions that upheld his firing by the Maryland State Police.