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11.7 Conspiracy—Sears Charge

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11.7 Conspiracy—Sears Charge 

            Before being convicted of conspiracy, an individual must conspire with at least one co–conspirator.  There can be no conspiracy when the only person with whom the defendant allegedly conspired was a government [agent] [informant] who secretly intended to frustrate the conspiracy.


            A defendant who conspires only with a government agent is not guilty of conspiracy; however, a conspiracy conviction is permitted if at least one co-conspirator is not a government agent.  United States v. Barragan, 871 F.3d 689, 710-11 (9th Cir. 2017); See also Sears v. United States343 F.2d 139, 142 (5th Cir. 1965) (“there can be no indictable conspiracy with a government informer who secretly intends to frustrate the conspiracy”); Instruction 11.7 (Conspiracy—Sears Charge). 

 Revised Dec. 2017