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United States v. Norman

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

June 11, 2019

United States of America, Appellee
v.
Alicia Norman, Appellant

          Argued March 13, 2019

          Appeals from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (No. 1:16-cr-00144-TSC-3) (No. 1:16-cr-00144-TSC-2) (No. 1:16-cr-00144-TSC-1)

          Deborah A. Persico, appointed by the court, argued the cause for appellant Brantley.

          Stephen C. Leckar, appointed by the court, argued the cause for appellant Rowe.

          Charles J. Soschin, pro bono, argued the cause for appellant Norman. With them on the briefs was Joseph R. Conte, appointed by the court.

          James Pearce, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the cause for appellee.

          On the brief was Molly Gaston, Trial Attorney. Elizabeth Trosman, Assistant U.S. Attorney, entered an appearance.

          Before: Henderson and Griffith, Circuit Judges, and Sentelle, Senior Circuit Judge.

          OPINION

          SENTELLE, SENIOR CIRCUIT JUDGE:

         Opinion concurring in the judgment filed by Circuit Judge Henderson.

         Appellants Alicia Norman, Kendra Brantley, and Deenvaughn Rowe appeal from judgments of conviction on multiple counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, and conspiracy to distribute and possess marijuana with the intent to distribute. Rowe and Brantley were convicted on all charges, and Norman on the charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. Appellants seek reversal of all judgments of conviction on a variety of allegations of error. We hold that none of the allegations of error have merit and affirm the judgments of the district court. Rowe also raises a colorable claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. Obedient to our circuit practice, we are remanding the claim for further proceedings.

         BACKGROUND

         During the time of the commission of the alleged crimes, all appellants were employees of the United States Postal Service (USPS). Rowe was the acting station manager at the River Terrace Post Office in Northeast Washington, D.C. Brantley and Norman were letter carriers at the Lamond-Riggs Post Office. Prior to entering his position as acting manager at the River Terrace Office, Rowe had worked with his co-defendants at the Lamond-Riggs station.

         According to the evidence at trial, Rowe knew of packages being sent through the USPS from California to addresses in the Lamond-Riggs area. Some of the packages had incomplete addresses, others had nonexistent addresses. Rowe used his USPS computer to track the packages from the west coast to the Lamond-Riggs Post Office. When one of the packages he was tracking arrived, Rowe would notify Brantley or Norman. The notified carriers would then deliver the package to individuals on the street rather than to the delivery addresses on the packages.

         Federal investigators surveilled the activity of the three postal employees. The evidence at trial, including surveillance tapes, revealed that Rowe would scan the packages, determine that they were the ones in which he was interested, and that the co-defendants would receive cash from the driver of a white Range Rover in exchange for the packages. The evidence also revealed texts ...


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