US v. Wallace Brown
UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. WALLACE BROWN, Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. Catherine C. Blake, District Judge. (1:07-cr-00437-CCB-1)
November 24, 2009
January 4, 2010
Before WILKINSON and MOTZ, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Allen H. Orenberg, THE ORENBERG LAW FIRM, P.C., North Bethesda, Maryland, for Appellant. Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, Mushtaq Z. Gunja, Assistant United States Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
PER CURIAM: Wallace Brown appeals from his convictions for two On
counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. appeal, Brown challenges the sufficiency of the
supporting his jury convictions and the denial of his motion to suppress. We affirm. To establish a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)
(2006), the Government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant: (1) knowingly; (2) possessed a narcotic See A
controlled substance; (3) with the intent to distribute it. United States v. Randall, 171 F.3d 195, 209 (4th Cir. 1999).
defendant challenging the sufficiency of the evidence "bears a heavy burden." (4th Cir. 1997) court's United States v. Beidler, 110 F.3d 1064, 1067 (internal reversal should quotation of be a marks omitted). on cases "[A]n of the
prosecution's failure is clear." F.2d 785, 791 (4th Cir. 1984)
United States v. Jones, 735 (internal quotation marks
omitted). With regard to the charge arising from the cocaine sale at Tivoly Avenue, Brown he contends alibi that the evidence and was
regarding a potential police motive for fabricating evidence. * However, the jury was free to reject Brown's alibi evidence and allegations of police misconduct. In convicting Brown, the jury
plainly credited the testimony of the officers, and we do not review the jury's credibility determinations on appeal. United States v. Wilson, 484 F.3d 267, 283 (4th Cir. 2007). Turning to the charge arising from the cocaine found in Brown's apartment, Brown asserts that his testimony See
contradicted that of the police officers.
However, again, we do
not review the credibility of the witnesses, and we "must assume that the jury resolved all contradictions in testimony in favor of the Government." United States v. United Med. & Surgical
Supply Corp., 989 F.2d 1390 (4th Cir. 1993). Finally, Brown contends that, even assuming the
cocaine in the apartment belonged to him, there was insufficient evidence of his intent to distribute. However, we conclude that
the drug paraphernalia found in Brown's apartment, the weight of the drugs, and the fact that officers observed Brown conducting a drug deal provided more than sufficient evidence to satisfy the Government's burden of proving intent to distribute. See
United States v. Fisher, 912 F.2d 728, 729-31 (4th Cir. 1990) Brown also asserts that the officers' testimony conflicted regarding the timeline of events. However, a review of the record does not show a concrete conflict.
distribute 1.52 grams of cocaine where cocaine was packaged for individual sale and was found in proximity to firearms).
Accordingly, the Government's evidence was sufficient to support the jury's guilty verdict on both counts. Next, Brown asserts that the district court committed clear error at in the preferring hearing on the the police motion officer's to testimony At to the
suppress. with a
question--the officer testified that he witnessed Brown conduct a drug deal, and Brown testified that he was not there. The
officer's testimony was corroborated by the cocaine found in the buyer's possession, as well as the cocaine found in Brown's
apartment and the currency found in Brown's car. In reviewing the denial of a motion to suppress, we "particularly defer to a district court's credibility
determinations, for it is the role of the district court to observe witnesses and weigh their credibility during a pre-trial motion to suppress." United States v. Abu Ali, 528 F.3d 210,
232 (4th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks omitted), cert. denied, 129 S. Ct. 1312 (2009). When the district court has
denied a suppression motion, we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government. 564 F.3d 346, 349 (4th Cir. 2009). 4 See United States v. Neely, Viewing the evidence under
this standard, there was no clear error in the district court's credibility determination. Accordingly, Brown's challenge to
the denial of his motion to suppress is without merit. Based on the foregoing, we affirm Brown's convictions. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal
contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
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