MEMORANDUM OPINION OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE CHARLES R. RICHEY
On December 10, 1973, the defendant and movant herein, Robert A. Sutton, was convicted following a jury trial before this Court of a single count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, see 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a), 846. The judgment of conviction was thereafter affirmed by the court of appeals, 511 F.2d 448 (D.C. Cir. 1975), and defendant's petition for certiorari was denied by the Supreme Court, 423 U.S. 925, 96 S. Ct. 269, 46 L. Ed. 2d 251 (1975).
On February 20, 1974, defendant was sentenced as a "dangerous special drug offender" pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 849, and this Court imposed a term of imprisonment from six to eighteen years, with a special parole term of three years. The instant motion, brought under Fed.R.Crim.P. 35, seeks to have the aforesaid sentence vacated on the grounds that: a) the sentencing statute is unconstitutional, b) in the instant case, the government failed to meet the notice requirements set forth in the statute, and c) insufficient evidence was presented to support the Court's finding that the defendant is a "dangerous special drug offender" within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 849. For the reasons set forth below, the Court has concluded that in invoking the statute, the government did in fact fail to meet the notice requirements of the statute.
Defendant's motion will therefore be granted, and the defendant will be sentenced anew. In light of this disposition, the Court does not reach the other contentions raised in support of defendant's motion.
A brief description of 21 U.S.C. § 849 is in order. As with its "sister statute," Title X of the Organized Crime Control Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3575-3578, the statute in question was designed to provide a two-tiered sentencing structure which allows a sentencing judge to employ "one maximum sentence applicable to most offenders and a much harsher extended 'special' sentence applicable to the organized crime offender, professional offender and habitual offender." United States v. Tramunti, 377 F. Supp. 6, 7 (S.D.N.Y. 1974). Under § 849, the United States Attorney may, before a particular defendant comes to trial or pleads guilty to a federal narcotics offense, file a notice alleging that said defendant is a dangerous special drug offender. That notice must meet certain specificity requirements, as discussed more fully below. If the defendant is convicted or pleads guilty, the court, sitting without a jury, then conducts a hearing on the government's allegations that the defendant is a dangerous special offender. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is such an offender, the defendant may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment as great as twenty-five years. See 21 U.S.C. § 849; Tramunti, supra, 377 F. Supp. at 7-8.
In the instant case, the government filed on August 13, 1973, an "Information that Defendant Sutton is a Dangerous Special Drug Offender." A copy of the Information is attached to this opinion and labeled Exhibit A. On January 18, 1974, after trial and conviction, the government also filed a memorandum with respect to the sentencing of defendant Sutton. On February 20, 1974, the government presented evidence at a hearing before the Court in support of its contention that Sutton was a dangerous special drug offender. Sutton was sentenced at that same hearing, as noted above, to a term of six to eighteen years' imprisonment with a special parole term of three years.
The defendant alleges in the instant motion that the government did not meet its responsibilities under 21 U.S.C. § 849 to set out "with particularity" in its pre-trial notice the reasons why the government believed the defendant to be a dangerous special drug offender. In assessing this allegation, the Court takes note of that which has been stressed in the few cases which have dealt with this statute: the statute contains separate and distinct definitions of "special" and "dangerous", and the government must therefore give specific notice of why it believes a defendant to be both dangerous and special, and must subsequently prove both of those elements, in order to trigger the § 849 sentencing mechanism. See 21 U.S.C. §§ 849(a), (e), & (f); United States v. Duardi, 384 F. Supp. 856 (" Duardi I ") & 384 F. Supp. 861(W.D. Mo. 1973) (" Duardi II ") , aff'd, 529 F.2d 123 (8th Cir. 1975) (construing "sister statute" 18 U.S.C. §§ 3575-3578); United States v. Kelly, 384 F. Supp. 1394 (W.D. Mo. 1974), aff'd 519 F.2d 251 (8th Cir. 1975) (construing "sister statute"). Thus, in order to establish that a defendant is a special drug offender under the statute, the government must give specific notice and prove that the defendant: a) has two or more convictions involving dealings in controlled substances (plus other conditions), see 21 U.S.C. § 849(e)(1); b) committed the offense for which the statute is invoked as part of a pattern of dealing in narcotics which constitutes a substantial source of that offender's income and in which the offender manifests special skill or expertise, see § 849(e)(2); or c) committed said offense in furtherance of a conspiracy with three or more other persons to engage in a pattern of dealing in narcotics, in which the defendant served to initiate, organize, plan, finance, direct, manage or supervise all or part of such conspiracy, see § 849(e)(3). In order to establish that a defendant is a dangerous drug offender under the statute, the government must give specific notice and prove that a period of confinement longer than that provided for the offense with which he is charged is required for the protection of the public from further criminal conduct by the defendant. 21 U.S.C. § 849(f).
In the instant case, the government's notice that the defendant was a special offender consisted essentially of a recitation of 21 U.S.C. § 849(e)(3):
". . . the defendant Sutton committed the violation alleged in count one of the. . . indictment, which violation was in furtherance of a conspiracy with more than three persons to engage in a pattern of dealing in controlled substances which was criminal under the laws of the United States, and the defendant Sutton did initiate, organize, plan, finance, direct, manage and supervise part of such conspiracy and dealing." See Information of Aug. 13, 1973, attached as Exhibit A hereto.