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United States v. Matthews

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

June 6, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, APPELLEE
v.
MICHAEL MATTHEWS, ALSO KNOWN AS MICHAEL GARY MATHEWS, APPELLANT

Argued, April 11, 2014

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. (No. 1:12-cr-00066-1).

Jenifer Wicks, appointed by the court, argued the cause and filed the briefs for appellant.

L. Jackson Thomas II, Assistant U.S. Attorney, argued the cause for appellee. With him on the briefs were Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney, Elizabeth Trosman and Anthony Scarpelli, Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

Before: GARLAND, Chief Judge, WILKINS, Circuit Judge, and SENTELLE, Senior Circuit Judge. Opinion for the Court filed by Senior Circuit Judge SENTELLE.

OPINION

Page 1322

Sentelle, Senior Circuit Judge

Michael Matthews was tried and convicted for unlawful possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine. The district court entered a judgment sentencing Matthews to a period of incarceration, followed by supervised release. Matthews appeals from that judgment, arguing that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence seized as a result of a search warrant and in not granting the defense a " Franks hearing" on the suppression issue. Because we conclude that any error by the district court does not warrant reversal, we affirm the judgment before us.

BACKGROUND

On December 2, 2011, officers of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (" MPD" ) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant obtained from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for the defendant's apartment. During the search, the officers seized methamphetamine, cash, and various items of drug paraphernalia. Following his arrest and the waiver of his Miranda rights, Matthews was interviewed by an MPD officer and admitted his possession of methamphetamine for distribution.

The United States obtained a single-count indictment charging appellant with unlawful possession of fifty grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(viii). Appellant moved to suppress the tangible evidence seized in the search and the statements obtained from him after the search, claiming they resulted from a warrant issued without probable cause. The district court, after reviewing the submissions of the parties and the affidavit upon which the issuance of the warrant was based, denied the motion without an evidentiary hearing. The case proceeded to a bench trial, in which the defense renewed the motion to suppress, which was again denied. At the close of all evidence, the court found the defendant guilty and thereafter entered a sentence of confinement for 120 months, followed by a five-year period of supervised release.

Defendant appeals, alleging error in the denial of the motions to suppress the evidence, and in the failure of the court to provide a hearing on the suppression motion, pursuant to Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 98 S.Ct. 2674, 57 L.Ed.2d 667 (1978). For the reasons set forth below,

Page 1323

we affirm the judgment of the ...


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