Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 02:00
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Fundamentals of Federal Criminal Defense - Defending Federal Drug Prosecutions: What You Need to Know

Time: 2:00pm - 3:15pm (EST)

It's a drug jungle out there and it is not getting easier. Discover the caution signs frequently found in federal drug prosecutions and learn techniques to effectively represent clients charged with federal drug offenses from pretrial motions to sentencing. This session will cover issues involving drug identification, drug weight, expert testimony, relevant conduct, conspiracy and co-conspirators, mandatory sentences, safety valve, and strategies for successful plea negotiations.


AKIN ADEPOJU has served as an Assistant Federal Defender in both the Trial and Capital Habeas Units for the Federal Defender Offices for the Western District of Pennsylvania and District of Delaware. He has worked on cases from pre-indictment stages to state and federal capital and non-capital trials. Akin has published scholarly articles and lectures nationally on trial and sentencing advocacy, litigating race and trauma issues, legal writing, and ethics. Before joining the Federal Defender family, Akin was an attorney at the Fair Trial Initiative, where he litigated almost exclusively state capital trial cases in North Carolina. Akin is a cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, earned his J.D. cum laude from Rhode Island's Roger Williams University School of Law, where he was a Dean's Scholar and student-attorney in the Criminal Defense Clinic, and earned his LL.M. from Temple University School of Law as a Public Interest Scholar. He is the recipient of the Feinstein Public Interest Award. Akin serves as Adjunct Professor of Law at Delaware Law School, where he teaches Eighth Amendment Capital Punishment and Advanced Criminal Law courses. Akin was detailed to Defender Services Office in D.C, where he now serves as an Attorney Advisor.

WALTER I. GONCALVES, JR. was born in Guarulhos, Brazil and raised in Akron, Ohio; Valencia, Venezuela; and Mexico City, Mexico. He became Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of Arizona in June of 2015. In the spring of 2018, he became one of two trial team leaders in the Tucson office. Previously, he was Assistant Pima County Public Defender for ten years. He has tried over thirty felony cases to jury, to include charges of first-degree murder, sexual molestation, drug distribution, fraudulent schemes and artifice, and arson.

Over the last several years, he presented at different CLEs on topics such as effective plea bargaining, closing arguments, the art of direct examination, duress and blind mule defenses in border crossing cases, implicit bias, and critical race theory. His practice consists of drug, illegal entry, white collar, and Indian reservation cases. He also writes on race, identity, trial defenses, and other areas in criminal justice.

He has published several law review articles and is finishing a piece on trial penalties and border defenses. He holds a bachelor's degree in International Studies from Southwestern University (cum laude) and Master's (Latin American Studies) and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Arizona. In his free times he spends time with his spouse, wrangles with his six-year-old twin boys, runs, reads, journals, and is founding member of Tucson rock band, Early Black (est. 2007).

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) accreditation for this program will be sought in all applicable jurisdictions. Additional CLE information will be available after the conclusion of this program.