434 F.2d 532 (D.C. Cir. 1970), 21998, Morrison v. United States

Docket Nº:21998.
Citation:434 F.2d 532
Party Name:Charles E. MORRISON, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:July 15, 1970
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Page 532

434 F.2d 532 (D.C. Cir. 1970)

Charles E. MORRISON, Appellant,


UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 21998.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

July 15, 1970

Argued Feb. 18, 1969.

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Mr. H. Alan Young, Washington, D.C. (appointed by this court) for appellant.

Mr. Julius A. Johnson, Asst. U.S. Atty., with whom Messrs. David G. Bress, U.S. Atty. at the time the brief was filed, and Frank Q. Nebeker, Asst. U.S. Atty. at the time the brief was filed, were on the brief, for appellee.

Messrs. Thomas A. Flannery, U.S. Atty., and John A. Terry, Asst. U.S. Atty., entered appearances for appellee.

Before BURGER, [*] McGOWAN and TAMM, Circuit Judges.

McGOWAN, Circuit Judge:

Charged with a violation of two federal narcotics statutes, 21 U.S.C. 174 and 26 U.S.C. 4704(a), appellant was convicted after a jury trial. On this appeal he seeks reversal on three grounds. One is that the verdict was not supported by adequate evidence that appellant was in possession of the narcotics introduced against him. A second contention is that the registration and other administrative provisions of the Harrison Act, of which 4704(a) is a part, violate appellant's Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination-- an issue not raised in the trial court. It is, lastly, claimed that appellant lacked effective assistance of counsel in that, had appellant had available to him a public defender as trial counsel, such a lawyer would have raised the self-incrimination issue. We find none of these persuasive of the necessity of reversal.


The Government's case against appellant consisted of evidence that he was found to have 28 heroin capsules in his possession. A police officer testified that the head of a private realty company, which managed an apartment building,

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complained to him that unauthorized persons were making use of a vacant apartment in the building. In response to this complaint, four officers of the Narcotics Squad went to the apartment in question to investigate. The door was locked, but there were sounds indicating that someone was inside. The officers knocked on the door and announced their identity. When no response was forthcoming, they forced the door and entered.

Appellant was standing in the front room, near the hallway leading to the door. When asked by the police what he...

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