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United States v. Dargan

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

December 24, 2013

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Reginald Duane DARGAN, Jr., Defendant-Appellant.

Argued: Oct. 30, 2013.

Page 644

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 645

ARGUED:

Brian L. Stekloff, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellant.

Benjamin M. Block, Office of the United States Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, Sean Welsh, Legal Intern, Office of the United States Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.

Before: WILKINSON, AGEE, and KEENAN, Circuit Judges.

Affirmed by published opinion. Judge WILKINSON wrote the opinion, in which Judge AGEE and Judge KEENAN joined.

WILKINSON, Circuit Judge:

Appellant Reginald Dargan, Jr., was convicted by a jury of three counts arising from the armed robbery of a jewelry store. He now appeals his conviction, contending that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a warrant during a search of his residence. He also argues that testimony about out-of-court statements made by a co-conspirator was erroneously admitted in violation of both the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Confrontation Clause. For the following reasons, we reject Dargan's claims and affirm his conviction.

I.

Shortly after noon on March 30, 2011, three men robbed a jewelry store located in a mall in Columbia, Maryland. Two of the participants were armed with firearms, while the third carried a knife. After waiting for a customer to leave, one of the men detained a sales clerk at gunpoint. Another held a knife to the clerk's leg and forced him to dump a case of Rolex watches into a bag. Meanwhile, the remaining culprit restrained a second employee at the back of the store. Once the watch case was emptied, the three men hastily exited the mall. They escaped with over thirty men's Rolex watches, with a retail value of approximately $275,000.

The following day, the police issued a news release asking the public to submit information relevant to the investigation. The release contained images of the suspects captured by mall security cameras. Based on tips received, the authorities arrested three individuals: Deontaye Harvey, Aaron Pratt, and Gary Braxton. Officials soon doubted Braxton's involvement, however, and he was released. The investigation also implicated a fourth individual, nicknamed " Little Reggie," who was not apprehended at that time.

Page 646

Two months later, appellant Dargan was arrested in connection with the robbery. Police suspected that Dargan was in fact Little Reggie, the knife-wielding participant in the Columbia heist. Investigators subsequently obtained a search warrant for Dargan's residence. Attachment A to the warrant enumerated items subject to seizure, including, among other things, " [i]ndicia of occupancy." J.A. 70. During the search, officers seized a purchase receipt for a Louis Vuitton belt. The receipt was found in a bag located on top of a dresser in Dargan's bedroom. It indicated that the belt cost $461.10 and that the buyer, who identified himself as " Regg Raxx," purchased the belt with cash the day after the robbery.

On October 26, 2011, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Dargan, Harvey, and Pratt. As relevant here, the indictment charged Dargan with conspiracy to interfere with, as well as actual interference with, interstate commerce by robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951. It also charged him with using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).

Prior to trial, Dargan moved to suppress the purchase receipt for the Louis Vuitton belt seized during the search of his residence. The district court found that the receipt did not fall under the terms of Attachment A to the search warrant, but that the seizure was ...


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