United States v. Rose, No. 19-4755 (4th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Defendant was sentenced by the district court to 420-months in prison and a five-year term of supervised release.
The Fourth Circuit concluded that the district court did not err in denying the suppression motion because, at the time the searches were conducted, defendant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the two FedEx packages that were addressed to a deceased person. The court explained that defendant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the packages addressed to the deceased because, at the time of the searches, there were no objective indicia that defendant owned, possessed, or exercised control over the packages. The court also rejected defendant's arguments regarding the procedural and substantive reasonableness of his sentence. In this case, the district court did err by applying the two-level leadership enhancement under USSG 3B1.1(c) and, even if the district court had erred, the error was harmless. Furthermore, the district court's comments at sentencing concerned defendant's actions and behaviors and did not establish that the district court was biased. Finally, the district court took care in addressing the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) sentencing factors and defendant failed to rebut the presumption that his sentence is substantively reasonable.