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United States v. Williams

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

January 23, 2014

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Leconie WILLIAMS, IV, Defendant-Appellant.

Argued: Oct. 31, 2013.

Page 309

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 310

ARGUED:

Mary Elizabeth Davis, Davis & Davis, Washington, D.C., for Appellant.

Jonathan Allen Ophardt, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, Office of the United States Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.

Before NIEMEYER and WYNN, Circuit Judges, and LOUISE W. FLANAGAN, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, sitting by designation.

Affirmed by published opinion. Judge WYNN wrote the opinion, in which Judge NIEMEYER and Judge FLANAGAN joined.

WYNN, Circuit Judge:

Late one night in June 2009, a police officer saw a car stopped in the middle of the road in a residential district. The officer activated his vehicle lights and the car pulled over to the side of the road. Thereafter, another officer joined in approaching the car and saw the driver, Defendant Leconie Williams, IV, remove something from his waistband and drop it inside of the vehicle. tat object turned out to be a gun which led to Defendant's conviction at a jury trial of a firearm offense.

On appeal, Defendant contends that the evidence discovered during the stop should have been suppressed at trial because the traffic offense for which he was cited did not apply to the road on which he had stopped his car. Because another closely related traffic law barred the conduct for which Defendant was cited, we reject Defendant's argument. We also reject Defendant's argument challenging the exclusion of 404(b) evidence. Accordingly, we affirm.

I.

On June 12, 2009, at around 1:00 a.m., Major Joseph McCann, a Prince George's County police officer, was driving through a residential area when he saw a vehicle stopped in the " middle of the road." J.A. 34, 41, 47. As McCann approached the vehicle, he saw a person who had been bent over into the driver's side window of the car stand up and walk away from the vehicle. McCann observed the vehicle sitting still in the road for thirty seconds to a minute. Defendant, the driver, waved for McCann to drive past him. McCann remained behind Defendant, who began to pull away. McCann then activated his lights, and Defendant pulled over to the side of the road.

Sergeant Edward Finn arrived and pulled up behind McCann. As the officers approached Defendant's vehicle, Finn observed Defendant remove an object from his pants and drop it with a thud onto the floorboard. The officers removed the car's three occupants, ...


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