US v. Laquan Wilson


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 3:15-cr-00071-RJC-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [1000043308].. [16-4452]

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Appeal: 16-4452 Doc: 31 Filed: 03/16/2017 Pg: 1 of 4 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 16-4452 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff – Appellee, v. LAQUAN MARCELL WILSON, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at Charlotte. Robert J. Conrad, Jr., District Judge. (3:15-cr-00071-RJC-1) Submitted: March 14, 2017 Before FLOYD and Circuit Judge. HARRIS, Decided: Circuit Judges, and March 16, 2017 DAVIS, Senior Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. John Parke Davis, Acting Executive Director, Ann L. Hester, FEDERAL DEFENDERS OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA, INC., Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellant. Jill Westmoreland Rose, United States Attorney, Anthony J. Enright, Assistant United States Attorney, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Appeal: 16-4452 Doc: 31 Filed: 03/16/2017 Pg: 2 of 4 PER CURIAM: Laquan Marcell Wilson appeals from the 84-month sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, 924(a)(2) in (2012). violation Wilson of 18 U.S.C. disputes the §§ 922(g)(1), district court’s application of a four-level sentencing enhancement for using or possessing a firearm in connection with other felony offenses— specifically, possession of controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Finding no error, we affirm. We review the district court’s factual determinations in applying the error. United States v. Strieper, 666 F.3d 288, 292 (4th Cir. 2012). Where a defendant Sentencing “[u]sed or Guidelines possessed connection with another enhancement shall apply. § 2K2.1(b)(6)(B) (2015). for any firearm felony U.S. clear or offense,” Sentencing ammunition a in four-level Guidelines Manual The “in connection with” element is satisfied “if the firearm facilitated, or had the potential of facilitating” the other offense, or protection or to embolden the actor.” if 566 F.3d n.14(A). 160, 162 (4th Cir. it “was present for United States v. Jenkins, 2009); see USSG § 2K2.1 cmt. Where the other felony is a drug trafficking offense, a firearm “found in close proximity to drugs, drug-manufacturing materials, or drug paraphernalia 2 . . . necessarily has the Appeal: 16-4452 Doc: 31 Filed: 03/16/2017 Pg: 3 of 4 potential of facilitating another felony offense.” F.3d at 163 (internal quotation § 2K2.1 cmt. n.14(B)). marks Jenkins, 566 omitted) (citing USSG This element is not satisfied, however, where the presence of the firearm is “the result of accident or coincidence.” United States v. Blount, 337 F.3d 404, 411 (4th Cir. 2003) (internal quotation marks omitted). Wilson argues because unreasonable applying that the USSG his sentence district § 2K2.1(b)(6)(B). reasonableness, applying an is court We abuse clearly review of procedurally a sentence discretion Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 46 (2007). erred in for standard. Procedural error includes improperly calculating the Sentencing Guidelines range. Id. Wilson contends that there is no evidence that the firearm was used in connection with the sale of controlled substances, specifically crack cocaine, because the evidence was insufficient to show that he possessed crack cocaine with the intent to distribute it. Based on the record before us, however, we conclude that the district court reasonably inferred that Wilson possessed the firearm in connection with drug trafficking. Wilson stated that he obtained the firearm for his personal protection. The firearm was on his person, loaded, and ready to fire, and he possessed five plastic baggies containing a total weight of .67 ounces of crack 3 cocaine, six green pills Appeal: 16-4452 Doc: 31 individually Filed: 03/16/2017 wrapped in Pg: 4 of 4 plastic cigarettes weighing .5 grams. baggies, and three marijuana See Jenkins, 566 F.3d at 162-63; USSG § 2K2.1 cmt. n.14(B). Further, the court was correct that, because of Wilson’s criminal history, simple possession would have been treated as a felony. The court did not err in determining that the firearm emboldened Wilson to commit the offense of possession of the drugs, particularly in a public area. Therefore, the district court’s decision to apply the § 2K2.1(b)(6)(B) enhancement was not clearly erroneous. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 4

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