US v. David Harris

Filing 920100525

Download PDF
UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 08-5146 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. DAVID M. HARRIS, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. Benson Everett Legg, District Judge. (1:01-cr-00115-BEL-3) Submitted: April 15, 2010 Decided: May 25, 2010 Before TRAXLER, Chief Judge, and GREGORY and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Gary E. Proctor, LAW OFFICES OF GARY E. PROCTOR, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellant. Michael Joseph Leotta, Christopher John Romano, Assistant United States Attorneys, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: A jury convicted David M. Harris of five offenses: (1) conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; (2) possession with intent to distribute five hundred grams or more of cocaine; (3) possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; (4) possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and (5) possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. Sentenced in accordance with the then-mandatory sentencing guidelines, Harris received a total of 270 months' imprisonment. affirmed Harris' convictions, but On direct appeal, this court vacated his sentence and remanded for resentencing, in accordance with United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005). See United States v. Harris, 215 F. App'x 262 (4th Cir. 2007) (Nos. 03-4297/4298). On remand, the district court sentenced Harris to 211 months' imprisonment. Harris now appeals. Counsel California, there issues are of 386 no has U.S. filed 738 a brief pursuant that, but to in Anders his v. (1967), issues stating for view, the meritorious appeal, raising whether in certain prior convictions and were whether properly Harris' considered Harris' criminal history sentence was reasonable. counsel in the Anders In addition to restating the claims by brief, the 2 Harris district claims court in pro se its supplemental briefs that abused discretion in denying his motion for another continuance and failed further grounds to explain for its reasons to for the the chosen sentence. on He moves remand to his district court various has pertaining convictions. The Government declined to file a response. affirm. Finding no reversible error, we We review a sentence for reasonableness, applying an abuse of discretion standard. 38, 51 (2007). Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. In so doing, we first examine the sentence for "significant procedural error," including: "failing to calculate (or improperly calculating) the [g]uidelines range, treating the [g]uidelines as mandatory, failing to consider the [18 U.S.C.] 3553(a) [(2006)] factors, selecting a sentence based on clearly erroneous facts, or failing to adequately explain the chosen sentence." of Id. the We "then consider the substantive "Substantive reasonableness sentence imposed." Id. reasonableness review entails taking into account the `totality of the circumstances, including the extent of any variance from the [g]uidelines range.'" United States v. Pauley, 511 F.3d If the 468, 473 (4th Cir. 2007) (quoting Gall, 522 U.S. at 51). sentence is within the guidelines range, we apply a presumption of reasonableness. (4th Cir. 2008) United States v. Abu Ali, 528 F.3d 210, 261 ("[A] sentence range is 3 located within a correctly calculated guidelines presumptively reasonable."), cert. denied, 129 S. Ct. 1312 (2009); see Rita v. United States, 551 U.S. 338, 347 (2007) (upholding presumption of reasonableness for within-guidelines sentence). Harris first contends that the district court erred in calculating his criminal history category under the sentencing guidelines. addition of In this in regard, his he objects specifically for: (1) to a the 1984 points criminal history arrest and resulting convictions for Sexual Offense and Battery; and (2) a 1996 conviction for possession of a firearm in a vehicle. * In considering the district court's application of the guidelines, we review factual findings for clear error and legal conclusions de novo. 522, 527 (4th Cir. 2006). Because Harris was convicted of Sexual Offense as an adult, he was sentenced on the Sexual Offense conviction to more than thirteen months, his sentence was imposed less than fifteen years prior to the commencement of the subject offense and his incarceration extended into the fifteen-year period prior to the United States v. Allen, 446 F.3d Although counsel challenges the prior conviction for handgun possession on the ground that the Government failed to prove that prior conviction belonged to Harris, a closer review of the pleadings and transcripts of the proceedings makes clear that counsel objected on this basis to the CDS possession conviction, and not the handgun possession conviction. We find no basis in the record to apply the argument to the handgun possession conviction. * 4 commencement of the subject offense, we find three points were properly added to Harris' criminal history category based on this prior conviction. See U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual 4A1.1, comment. (n.1) ("Three points are added for each prior sentence of imprisonment exceeding one year and one month . . . . A sentence imposed more than fifteen years prior to the defendant's commencement of the instant offense is not counted unless the defendant's incarceration extended into this fifteen year period . . . . A sentence imposed for an offense committed counted prior to the item defendant's only if it eighteenth resulted birthday an is under this from adult conviction."); see also USSG 4A1.2(d)(1) ("If the defendant was convicted as an adult one year and and received one a sentence add 3 of imprisonment exceeding month, points under 4A1.1(a) for each such sentence."). Harris next argues, as he did below, that his conviction for CDS possession was also improperly assessed one point in the calculation of his criminal history. He contends the Government failed to prove he was the person convicted of that offense. The district court found by a preponderance of the evidence that Harris was the individual who received the conviction for possession of CDS in 1996. this factual finding. We find no error in See generally United States v. Love, 134 F.3d 595, 606 (4th Cir. 1998) (quoting United States v. Terry, 5 916 F.2d 157, 162 (4th Cir. 1990)) ("A mere objection to the finding in the presentence report is not sufficient . . . . Without an affirmative showing the information is inaccurate, the court is `free to adopt the findings of the [presentence report] without more specific inquiry or explanation.'"). Last, Harris argues that his sentence was unreasonable under the guidelines and the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) factors. The district court here followed the necessary procedural steps in sentencing Harris, appropriately treating the sentencing guidelines as advisory, properly calculating and considering the applicable guidelines range, performing an individualized assessment of the 3553(a) factors to the facts of the case, and stating in open court the reasons for the 211-month sentence. Cir. 2009). See United States v. Carter, 564 F.3d 325, 328 (4th In appropriate, determining the district that court a 211-month considered sentence the was 3553(a) factors, explicitly noting Harris' offense was "serious;" he was a part of an "organized drug ring;" "[he] recruited others;" and he "has a serious criminal record." The district court stressed that a 211-month sentence protects the public, deters Harris, and is sufficient in light of the fact that Harris has taken college courses, has a work record, and has a son he cares about. Harris' within-Guidelines 6 sentence is presumptively reasonable presumption. 379 (4th on appeal, and Harris has not rebutted that See United States v. Montes-Pineda, 445 F.3d 375, 2006) is (stating presumption when may be rebutted against by the Cir. showing sentence unreasonable measured 3553(a) factors). We therefore find no abuse of discretion in imposing the chosen sentence. In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record in this case and Harris' pro se supplemental briefs and have found no meritorious issues for appeal. We therefore affirm the district court's judgment. pending motions to remand, to We further deny Harris' counsel, and "To substitute Dismiss for Extreme Appellate Delay." This court requires that counsel inform Harris, in writing, of the right to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further review. If Harris requests that a petition be filed, but counsel believes that such a petition would be frivolous, then counsel may move in this court for leave to withdraw from representation. Counsel's motion must state that a copy thereof was served on Harris. legal before We dispense with oral argument because the facts and are and adequately argument presented not in aid the the materials decisional contentions the court would process. AFFIRMED 7

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?