United States v. Lambert, 446 F. Supp. 890 (D. Conn. 1978) (full-text).
Factual Background Edit
The defendants were charged with selling information obtained from the Drug Enforcement Administration pertaining to the identity of possible informants and the status of drug traffic investigations. Defendant was indicted under 18 U.S.C. §641.
Trial Court Proceedings Edit
On defendant’s motion to dismiss, the court held that: (1) the statute is not restricted to the theft of tangible property, but the phrase "'thing of value,' in conjunction with the explicit reference to 'any record,' covers the content of such a record"; (2) the statute is not unconstitutionally vague and "an individual planning the unauthorized sale of information held in a government data bank had sufficient notice that such conduct would be covered by §641; and (3) the statute is not facially invalid for overbreadth, since a narrow interpretation is possible which avoids deterring constitutionally protected speech.