Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

OSJCL Amici Board of Advisors

OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field

Abuelhawa v. United States

  • Oral Argument heard on March 4, 2009.
  • Issue: When a person uses a cell phone to buy drugs for personal use, which is a misdemeanor, can he also be charged with the separate crime of using a phone to facilitate the sale of drugs, which is a felony?
  • Background: On several occasions, Salman Khade Abuelhawa called a drug dealer to purchase a gram of cocaine. Federal agents intercepted these phone calls, arrested Abuelhawa, and charged him with a misdemeanor for purchasing drugs for personal use and a felony for using a phone to facilitate the sale of drugs. The defendant argues that it is unreasonable to transform a misdemeanor into a felony simply because the crime was facilitated through a cell phone, rather than face-to-face.



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