US v. Vernon Edward
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 3:14-cr-00604-JFA-23. Copies to all parties and the district court/agency . [16-4694]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
VERNON MCKEA EDWARDS, a/k/a Vernon from Ridgeville,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at
Columbia. Joseph F. Anderson, Jr., Senior District Judge. (3:14-cr-00604-JFA-23)
Submitted: August 29, 2017
Decided: September 19, 2017
Before MOTZ, TRAXLER, and HARRIS, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Miller W. Shealy, Jr., MILLER SHEALY LAW FIRM, Charleston, South Carolina, for
Appellant. John David Rowell, Assistant United States Attorney, Columbia, South
Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Vernon McKea Edwards pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to
distribute and to distribution of crack and powder cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), 846 (2012). The district court imposed a 188-month sentence. In
accordance with Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), Edwards’ counsel has filed a
brief certifying that there are no meritorious grounds for appeal but questioning whether
the district court erred in declining to rule on Edwards’ objection to the presentence report.
Edwards filed a pro se brief, ∗ arguing that the district court erred in calculating his
Sentencing Guidelines range, that the error resulted in a breach of the plea agreement, and
that counsel was ineffective for failing to raise the breach issue at sentencing. We affirm.
At sentencing, Edwards’ counsel challenged a statement in the PSR that, in a certain
conversation intercepted by wiretap, Edwards referred to the purchase of cocaine, arguing
that the conversation actually concerned the purchase of marijuana. The probation officer
explained that the drug quantity discussed in the conversation did not affect the sentencing
recommendation. Thus, the district court properly concluded that it need not rule on the
objection. Fed. R. Crim. P. 32(i)(3)(B) (requiring sentencing court to rule on disputed
matters unless “a ruling is unnecessary either because the matter will not affect sentencing,
or because the court will not consider the matter in sentencing”).
We construe Edwards’ “Motion in Opposition to the Filing of an Anders Brief by
Counsel” as a pro se brief and conclude that the claims raised therein lack merit.
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In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record in this case and have
found no meritorious grounds for appeal. We therefore affirm the district court’s judgment.
This court requires that counsel inform Edwards, in writing, of the right to petition the
Supreme Court of the United States for further review. If Edwards 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 Edwards.
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
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