Hunter Biden’s gun pouch had cocaine residue on it, prosecutors claim

Federal prosecutors claim a brown leather pouch used by Hunter Biden to store a gun had cocaine on it.

On Tuesday, prosecutors asked a judge to reject President Biden’s son Hunter’s efforts to dismiss gun charges because investigators found cocaine residue on the pouch used to hold his gun.


Prosecutors told the judge, "the strength of the evidence against him is overwhelming," rejecting Hunter Biden’s claims that he was being singled out for political reasons.

Hunter Biden previously made incriminating statements about his drug use in a 2021 memoir, but now investigators are saying the cocaine was found on the gun pouch after it was pulled from a state police vault last year.

A chemist with the FBI, prosecutors claimed, determined the residue was cocaine.


"To be clear, investigators literally found drugs on the pouch where the defendant had kept his gun," prosecutors said.

The president's son had pleaded not guilty to federal gun charges in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in October, accusing him of lying about using drugs in October 2018 on a gun purchase form.

He has acknowledged struggling with a crack cocaine addiction during that period in 2018, but his attorneys claim he did not break the law. Hunter Biden has since said he has stopped using drugs and is working to turn his life around.

Hunter Biden was charged with making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm; making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer; and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance. 


According to the indictment, "on or about October 12, 2018, in the District of Delaware, the defendant, Robert Hunter Biden, in connection with the acquisition of a firearm, that is, a Colt Cobra 38SPL Revolver with serial number RA 551363…knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive that dealer with respect to a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale of the firearm…in that the defendant, Robert Hunter Biden, provided a written statement on Form 4473 certifying he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious." 

The indictment also states that "on or about October 12, 2018, through on or about October 23, 2018, in the District of Delaware, the defendant Robert Hunter Biden, knowing that he was an unlawful user of and addicted to any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance…did knowingly possess a firearm, that is, a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver with serial number RA 551363, said firearm having been shipped and transported in interstate commerce." 

Fox News first reported in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018, when a gun owned by Hunter Biden was thrown into a trash can outside a market in Delaware.

A source with knowledge of the Oct. 23, 2018, police report told Fox News that it indicated that Hallie Biden, who is the widow of President Biden's late son, Beau, and who was in a relationship with Hunter at the time, threw a gun owned by Hunter in a dumpster behind a market near a school.

A firearm transaction report reviewed by Fox News indicated that Hunter Biden purchased a gun earlier that month.

On the firearm transaction report, Hunter Biden answered in the negative when asked if he was "an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance."

Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine.

Fox News' Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

5th Circuit deals blow to federal gun statute used in Hunter Biden case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on Wednesday voided a federal law that prevents unlawful drug users from possessing firearms.

The statute, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), bars anyone who is an "unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance," including marijuana, from possessing a gun. Violators can face up to 10 years in prison. However, a three-judge panel, citing the Supreme Court's landmark gun rights decision last year, unanimously found the statute unconstitutional as applied to defendant Patrick Daniels. 

Daniels, an admitted habitual marijuana user, was arrested in April 2022 after police searched his car and found marijuana and two loaded firearms. He was convicted in July 2022 and sentenced to nearly four years in prison and three years of probation — a conviction the 5th Circuit panel has now thrown out. 

Though the decision is limited to Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, it could potentially impact the ongoing federal case against Hunter Biden, who is charged in Delaware under the same statute. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy told Fox News the Justice Department could use the 5th Circuit's opinion as a rationale for a new plea agreement.


"Even though Hunter Biden’s situation is readily distinguishable from that of Patrick Daniels, it’s possible the Justice Department could rationalize that the 5th Circuit’s ruling supports its exercise of discretion to give Biden deferred-prosecution treatment (as currently proposed, two years of probationary conditions followed by dismissal if the conditions are met) in a plea agreement," McCarthy said. 

The 5th Circuit case, known as U.S. v. Daniels, was decided by Judges Jerry Smith, Stephen Higginson and Don Willett. Together, they held that the 922(g)(3) restriction was too broad as applied to Daniels and unsupported by a "historical tradition of firearm regulation," as required by the Supreme Court in Bruen. 

"Just as there was no historical justification for disarming a citizen of sound mind, there is no tradition that supports disarming a sober citizen who is not currently under an impairing influence," Smith wrote. "Indeed, it is helpful to compare the tradition surrounding the insane and the tradition surrounding the intoxicated side-by-side."

The statute's language does not distinguish between a person who is intoxicated or a person who is sober but in possession of drug paraphernalia at the time of their arrest.

The court observed that the founding-era law "institutionalized the insane and stripped them of their guns; but they allowed alcoholics to possess firearms while sober." 


"In short, neither the restrictions on the mentally ill nor the regulatory tradition surrounding intoxication can justify Daniels' conviction," Smith wrote. Further, the court said there was no historical tradition of stripping away gun rights from persons who are non-violent, drug users or otherwise. 

"The government asks us to set aside the particulars of the historical record and defer to Congress' modern-day judgment that Daniels is presumptively dangerous because he smokes marihuana multiple times a month. But that is the kind of toothless rational basis review that Bruen proscribes. Absent a comparable regulatory tradition in either the 18th or 19th century, § 922(g)(3) fails constitutional muster under the Second Amendment." 

The 5th Circuit has now declared two federal gun statutes unconstitutional under Bruen's precedent. In a previous case, U.S. v. Rahimi, the court struck down a federal statute that made it a crime for a person with a domestic violence restraining order to be in possession of a gun — a decision that has been appealed to the Supreme Court

In a concurring opinion, Higginson criticized Bruen for causing "uncertainty and upheaval" in how the government can apply public safety laws, which he said "face inconsistent invalidation." He observed that lower courts have wildly differed in their interpretations of Bruen, leading to disparate outcomes for individuals across the country charged with the same federal crime. 


"Already, as courts work through the impact of Bruen, defendants guilty of a gun crime in one jurisdiction are presently innocent of it in another," the judge said.

Such is the case for Hunter Biden, who is charged with violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3) because he was a crack cocaine user when he bought a Colt Cobra .38 Special from StarQuest Shooters, a gun store in Wilmington, Delaware, in 2018. 

McCarthy said that while there are essential differences between Biden and Daniels, the Justice Department could still use the 5th Circuit's decision to go easy on Biden.

"The 5th Circuit panel unanimously ruled that the 922(g)(3) restriction was too broad as applied to Daniels. Historically, the law has permitted gun possession prohibitions against people who were actively under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but not against people who were sometimes under the influence but apparently sober at the time they possessed guns," he explained. 


"Unlike Daniels, who by his own admission is a regular marijuana user, Biden was a cocaine addict who was provably binging on cocaine in the October 2018 time-frame when he possessed at least one firearm," McCarthy continued. "Marijuana is now legal in many states (even though it is still deemed a prohibited substance under federal law that is not enforced); cocaine is an illegal substance under state and federal law — it is more addictive, more debilitating, and consequently its possession and distribution are punished more severely in penal statutes.

"So the cases can be distinguished," McCarthy said. "Nevertheless, it would not be unreasonable for the Justice Department to say it needed to rethink prosecution standards for 922(g)(3) in light of the Daniels decision. Of course, the question would then be whether Hunter Biden was being given favorable treatment — i.e., was he being given a pass when the Biden Justice Department would still prosecute similarly situated people? It’s too early to answer that question."

Gun rights activists celebrated the 5th Circuit's opinion, denouncing 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3) as an unconstitutional restriction on the Second Amendment. 

However, Higginson warned that "further reductionism" under Bruen "will mean systematic, albeit inconsistent, judicial dismantling of the laws that have served to protect our country for generations." 

"This state of affairs will be nothing less than a Second Amendment caricature, a right turned inside out, against freedom and security in our State," Higginson wrote.