United States v. Thomas Shannon

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ No. 16-3755 _____________ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. THOMAS SHANNON, a/k/a CUZZO Thomas J. Shannon, Appellant ______________ APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY (D.N.J. No. 3-15-cr-00275-001) District Judge: Honorable Peter G. Sheridan ______________ Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) October 26, 2017 ______________ Before: GREENAWAY, JR., COWEN, Circuit Judges, and PADOVA, District Judge.* (Opinion Filed: November 1, 2017) ______________ OPINION** ______________ * The Honorable John R. Padova, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, sitting by designation. ** This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. GREENAWAY, JR., Circuit Judge. Thomas Shannon appeals from the conviction and sentence entered by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Shannon raises five claims. First, he argues that his right to a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was violated when the District Court read a bifurcated count of the Indictment to the jury. Second, he challenges his conviction on the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking count. Third, he contends that case agent testimony at trial regarding interpretation of certain intercepted calls and voice identification should have been excluded. Fourth, Shannon asserts that he was erroneously considered a career offender for the purposes of sentencing. Fifth, he challenges the application of a sentencing enhancement for being an organizer or leader. None of these claims is meritorious. We will affirm. I. Background According to the Government, between 2013 and 2014, Shannon participated in a drug trafficking conspiracy that stretched from California to New Jersey. On multiple occasions, Shannon ordered heroin and cocaine from California-based suppliers and then transferred the narcotics to a drug trafficking organization in New Jersey. The Federal Bureau of Investigation intercepted a drug shipment from California headed for a stash house in Long Branch, New Jersey on March 20, 2014. Agents conducted a controlled delivery, with one law enforcement agent posing as a mail carrier who personally delivered 2 the drug package to Shannon at the Long Branch stash house. When Shannon approached the postal truck, law enforcement agents arrested him and seized both the drug package and his cell phone. On the same date, agents executed search warrants at locations including stash houses in Asbury Park and Long Branch and Shannon’s Jersey City residence. At the Asbury Park stash house—where visual surveillance had previously placed Shannon—law enforcement recovered two semi-automatic firearms (one of which had a magazine with eight rounds) inside a black box stored inside a closet in the bedroom; 898.5 grams of heroin, 555.4 grams of cocaine, and 24.1 grams of cocaine base stored in the black box; more than 18,000 individual doses of heroin in plastic bags on a shelf in the same closet; various drug-related paraphernalia; correspondence addressed to Shannon inside a cardboard box on the ...

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