United States v. McCants, No. 17-3103 (3d Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
A New Jersey woman dialed 911 and described an assailant on Grove Street as wearing a red hat, with braids, stating “he is beating her up really badly” and “I think he has a gun.” The caller hung up. East Orange police found a man matching the description (McCants) near 146 Grove Street within one minute, walking with a woman (Fulton). Officers engaged McCants and frisked him due to the “nature of the call.” During the pat down, an officer found a loaded handgun inside a fanny pack McCants was wearing. Officers placed McCants under arrest and recovered distributable quantities of heroin. Written police reports indicated that Fulton showed no signs of injury. McCants was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) and possession with intent to distribute heroin, 21 U.S.C. 841(a); (b)(1)(C). The Third Circuit affirmed the denial of a motion to suppress and his 120-month sentence as a career offender. Viewing all the circumstances, the anonymous tip bore sufficient indicia of reliability and provided the officers with reasonable suspicion that justified the Terry stop. The caller used the 911 system to report an eyewitness account of domestic violence and provided the officers with a detailed description of the suspect and location, which were confirmed by the police. McCants had two prior convictions for second-degree robbery in New Jersey that qualified as crimes of violence under the Guidelines.