United States v. Tucker, No. 19-3042 (D.C. Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Six defendants were indicted in 2018 following an ATF investigation of drug activity at a D.C. barbershop. During a 2017 traffic stop, officers had found what appeared to be a drug ledger, approximately $9,000, and drug paraphernalia in Fields’s vehicle. The ATF executed a search warrant on the barbershop three months later. In a suite above the barbershop, agents found cash, firearms, more drug paraphernalia, and large quantities of heroin mixed with fentanyl, PCP, Suboxone, and synthetic marijuana. They also found a document listing a medical appointment for Fields and a receipt for a purchase made with his credit card. A search of Fields’s home led to more drug ledgers, two of which listed “Foots” (Samuels). During subsequent searches of Samuels’s home, ATF agents found a shotgun, drug paraphernalia, crack cocaine, marijuana, and synthetic marijuana. Samuels admitted that he kept a gun under his bed for protection.
Fields, Samuels, and Tucker were convicted on several drug- and firearm-related offenses. The D.C. Circuit affirmed the convictions, 21 U.S.C. 841, 846, 18 U.S.C. 922(g), and Samuels’s 84-month sentence, rejecting challenges to the 2017 traffic stop, evidentiary rulings, and the denial of Fields’s request to represent himself, and claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court cured any potential prejudice to Samuels and Tucker with limiting instructions and did not abuse its discretion in denying their motions to sever.