Sherman v. United States

356 U.S. 369 (1958)


D was convicted under an indictment charging three sales of narcotics. In 1951, Kalchinian, a government informer, met with D at a doctor's office where they were both being treated for narcotics addiction. Several accidental meetings followed as their paths crossed in their treatments. Finally, Kalchinian asked D if he knew how to score some drugs. At first, D tried to avoid the issue and not until a number of repetitions, predicated on Kalchinian's suffering, did D finally give in. Several times later, D got drugs and shared them with Kalchinian. Each time the total cost of the drugs to D was $25 and Kalchinian owed him $15; thus, they shared the expenses. After several such sales, Kalchinian informed the Bureau of Narcotics that he had another seller for them. On three occasions, government officials observed D giving drugs to Kalchinian for money. D was arrested, and the issue at trial was entrapment and whether D was already predisposed to commit the act and exhibited only the natural hesitancy of one acquainted with the narcotics trade. D was convicted. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.