USA v. Larry Gunter
Per Curiam OPINION filed : the district court's judgment is AFFIRMED, decision not for publication. Boyce F. Martin , Jr., Circuit Judge; Helene N. White, Circuit Judge and Peter C. Economus, U.S. Senior District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, sitting by designation.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 12a1141n.06
Nov 05, 2012
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
LARRY D. GUNTER,
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED
STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF
Before: MARTIN and WHITE, Circuit Judges; ECONOMUS, District Judge.*
PER CURIAM. Larry D. Gunter, who is represented by counsel, appeals a 2010 jury verdict
convicting him of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g) and
924(e); possessing an unregistered sawed-off shotgun in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5841 and
5861(d); and aiding and abetting the receipt, possession, or concealment of a stolen motor vehicle
in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2 and 2313. The district court sentenced Gunter to 210 months of
On appeal, Gunter argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and
that the district court erred in denying his motion for acquittal based on the lack of evidence of
proper venue. We review the district court’s judgment de novo. See United States v. Kuehne, 547
F.3d 667, 677 (6th Cir. 2008).
The Honorable Peter C. Economus, United States Senior District Judge for the Northern
District of Ohio, sitting by designation.
-2“When reviewing claims for insufficient evidence, we will sustain a conviction if, viewing
the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found
the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.” United States v. Harris, 397 F.3d
404, 409 (6th Cir. 2005); see also Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (1979). We do not weigh
the evidence, evaluate the credibility of the witnesses, “or substitute our judgment for that of the
jury.” United States v. Salgado, 250 F.3d 438, 446 (6th Cir. 2001) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). “Circumstantial evidence alone is sufficient to sustain a conviction and such
evidence need not remove every reasonable hypothesis except that of guilt.” United States v.
Spearman, 186 F.3d 743, 746 (6th Cir. 1999) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
Gunter’s argument that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction under section
2313(a) is without merit. As an initial matter, the government contends that Gunter waived this
argument, but the record establishes the contrary. Section 2313(a) provides that “[w]hoever receives,
possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of any motor vehicle . . . , which has crossed
a State . . . boundary after being stolen, knowing the same to have been stolen, shall be fined under
this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.” The evidence supports the conviction. An
employee for a youth group testified that the group’s van was stolen while parked in the Great
Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Law enforcement officers found the van the
next day parked outside Gunter’s mobile home in Tennessee. Gunter was the only person who lived
in the mobile home. The van’s passenger door lock had been removed, and the dash had damage
consistent with a stolen vehicle. Finally, the van’s registration and maintenance guide, along with
a hat containing the youth group’s name, were found in Gunter’s car parked next to the van.
The government also introduced sufficient evidence to support Gunter’s convictions under
§ 922(g)(1) and § 5861(d). “[P]roof of either actual or constructive possession is sufficient under
both statutes,” and “both actual and constructive possession may be proved by circumstantial
evidence.” United States v. Daniel, 134 F.3d 1259, 1263 (6th Cir. 1998). “Proof that the person has
-3dominion over the premises where the firearm is located is sufficient to establish constructive
possession.” United States v. Kincaide, 145 F.3d 771, 782 (6th Cir. 1998). The detective who
searched Gunter’s home testified that Gunter indicated that law enforcement would find something
under his bed. When one of the officer’s lifted the mattress, he found a loaded shotgun and a
bandolier with twelve additional shells. Thus, a rational trier of fact could conclude beyond a
reasonable doubt that Gunter had constructive possession of the firearm.
Gunter also challenges the district court’s determination that the Eastern District of
Tennessee was the proper venue for his trial. The first detective to testify at trial stated that, on the
day when he discovered the van and shotgun, he was working an investigation at Dawson Road in
the Parrottsville, Tennessee, area. This location is in Cocke County, Tennessee, which is in the
jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. See 28 U.S.C.
Thus, the district court had venue over the case.
Rodriguez-Moreno, 526 U.S. 275, 281 (1999).
The district court’s judgment is affirmed.
See United States v.
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