United States v. Brown, No. 13-4249 (4th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed her convictions and sentence for conspiring to traffic in 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, and of additional charges stemming from the kidnapping and murder of Michael Knight in connection with her trafficking operation. The court concluded that the district court did not err in suppressing recorded interviews where there was no legitimate basis to suppress them; pursuant to United States v. Love, the court concluded that the district court's relatively short vacation of the bench was harmless; although the district court's quantity instruction and attendant verdict form were inaccurate, the government proved that the conspiracy trafficked in tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana over its ten-year course, amounting to many multiples of the quantity required to impose a life sentence; and, therefore, the court affirmed defendant's convictions and sentence.