NO. xxxxxxxxx






xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Defendant-Appellant.






The district court had jurisdiction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3231. The notice of appeal having been filed within the ten-day period of Fed. R. App. P. 4(b), this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1291 and 18 U.S.C. 3742(a)(l).


A. The Case History

On October 12, 1989, an indictment was filed, charging the defendant, and a codefendant, xxxxxxxxxxxx, in three counts (APP 1). (1) The first count charged possession with intent to distribute more than 5 grams of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(iii). The second count charged that the defendants used a firearm during and in relation to the offense charged in Count One, 18 U.S.C. 924(c). The third count charged the defendants with making available a place for the purposes of storing and distributing drugs, 21 U.S.C. 856. All three offenses were alleged to have occurred on September 21, 1989.

Defendant failed to appear for his arraignment on October 20, 1989. He was arrested in March, 1992, on a warrant issued for his failure to appear. In the meantime, the government dismissed the charges against xxxxxx. Thus, defendant proceeded to trial alone. The jury trial began on October 13, 1992. During the trial the district court dismissed Count Three for insufficient evidence. On October 16, 1992, the jury found the defendant guilty on the two remaining counts.

On April 8, 1993, the district court sentenced the defendant to 121 months in prison on Count One, and 60 months in prison on Count Two, to run consecutively, to be followed by four years of supervised release, and a $50 special assessment on each count (APP 23). This court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence in United States v. Warren, 42 F.3d 647 (D.C. Cir. 1994).

On January 25, 1996, defendant filed in the district court a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2255, to vacate his conviction under 18 U.S.C. 924(c), in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Bailey v. United States, 116 S. Ct. 501 (1995). The government conceded the invalidity of the 924(c) conviction and prepared a stipulation with defendant that a new presentence report be prepared and that defendant be resentenced by the district court (APP 39). The district court signed an order (APP 41) embodying this stipulation and resentenced defendant on March 29, 1996, to a 151-month term of imprisonment on the sole remaining count, to be followed by four years of supervised release and a $50 special assessment (APP 74).

B. The Original Sentencing and Appeal

The charges arose from the service of a search warrant at an apartment. Defendant and a woman were in a bedroom of the apartment, in which the police found 36.12 grams of crack cocaine, 2.47 grams of which was in a cigarette package on the bed. Defendant admitted that the crack in the cigarette pack belonged to him for his personal use, and that he was using it when the police came. Paraphernalia used for smoking crack was found in the room. Defendant denied knowledge of the other crack found in the room.

At the original sentencing, defendant had argued that the offense level should be calculated based only on the 2.47 grams in the cigarette pack, which was intended for defendant's personal use. The district court rejected that contention, holding defendant responsible for all 36.12 grams:

The Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant possessed not only the drugs which he admitted to possessing, the amount of approximately 2.4 grams, but that he also possessed the remainder of the drugs strewn across the mattress, plus the drugs located between the mattress and the wall in the vicinity of the loaded gun.This Court finds that the amount of drugs possessed by the defendant was approximately 36 grams. The evidence establishes to the Court's satisfaction that the defendant had dominion and control over the bedroom and its contents, and the Court finds that the government has proved this by a preponderance of the evidence.

(OST 12-13; APP 14-15). (2)

On the direct appeal of his conviction, defendant argued that the drugs intended for his personal use should not have been included in calculating the offense level for the crime of possession with intent to distribute. This court rejected the argument:

We agree with Warren that the Ninth Circuit's approach may merit consideration in an appropriate case, but not here. 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