United States v. Garner, No. 17-1181 (3d Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Garner asked Saber to be the getaway driver for a bank robbery. Saber, a government informant, set up his phone to send the conversation to the voicemail of FBI Agent Reed. Reed and Saber later recorded several calls with Garner, who instructed Saber to surveil the bank and that Marshall would be involved. On the day of the planned robbery, the FBI arrested Garner in Saber’s car. The FBI found on Garner’s person 17 packets of crack cocaine and, in Saber’s car, a backpack not present before Garner entered, containing ski masks, a loaded gun, gloves, two-way radios, and ammunition. Garner was convicted of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, 18 U.S.C. 371, attempted bank robbery, 18 U.S.C. 2113(a), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and aiding and abetting that crime, 18 U.S.C. 2 & 924(c)(1) and was sentenced to 101 months’ imprisonment. Marshall, who was not charged with attempted bank robbery, was acquitted. The Third Circuit affirmed, rejecting an argument the evidence was insufficient to establish either conspiracy or an attempt to commit armed bank robbery because the chief prosecution witness was not credible. A defendant may commit an attempt even where he stops short of “the last act necessary” for the actual commission of the crime.