701 F.3d 274 (8th Cir. 2012), 11-1500, United States v. Mann

Docket Nº:11-1500, 11-2187.
Citation:701 F.3d 274
Opinion Judge:SHEPHERD, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee v. Randeep MANN, Defendant-Appellant. United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee v. Randeep Mann, Defendant-Appellant.
Attorney:Joseph Blake Hendrix, argued, Erin Cassinelli, on the brief, Little Rock, AR, for appellant. Karen Whatley, AUSA, argued, Michael S. Gordon, AUSA, on the brief, Little Rock, AR, for appellee.
Judge Panel:Before SMITH, BENTON, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges. SMITH, Circuit Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
Case Date:December 06, 2012
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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701 F.3d 274 (8th Cir. 2012)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee

v.

Randeep MANN, Defendant-Appellant.

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee

v.

Randeep Mann, Defendant-Appellant.

Nos. 11-1500, 11-2187.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

December 6, 2012

Submitted: Feb. 8, 2012.

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Joseph Blake Hendrix, argued, Erin Cassinelli, on the brief, Little Rock, AR, for appellant.

Karen Whatley, AUSA, argued, Michael S. Gordon, AUSA, on the brief, Little Rock, AR, for appellee.

Before SMITH, BENTON, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.

SHEPHERD, Circuit Judge.

Randeep Mann was convicted by a jury of conspiring to use and aiding and abetting in the use of a weapon of mass destruction in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2332a; causing the damage or destruction of a vehicle by means of an explosive resulting in personal injury in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 844(i); possession of unregistered grenades in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d); possession of an unregistered machinegun in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d); possession of a machinegun in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922( o ); conspiring to corruptly obstruct an official proceeding in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k); and aiding and abetting in the corrupt concealment of documents with the intent to impair the use of the documents in an official proceeding in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(1)-(2). Mann appeals his convictions and his sentences. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for resentencing.

I. Introduction

On February 4, 2009, Dr. Trent Pierce, Chairman of the Arkansas State Medical Board (the Board), left his home in West Memphis, Arkansas, planning to drive later that day to Little Rock, Arkansas, to attend a Board meeting. Before getting into his vehicle, Dr. Pierce noticed a spare tire leaning against his vehicle. When he attempted to move the tire, it exploded, rendering Dr. Pierce severely and permanently injured. Investigators determined that the explosion was caused by a bomb composed of the spare tire and an MK3A2 hand grenade.

In its investigation of the bombing, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) asked the Board for a list of doctors who had been disciplined by the Board in the previous five years. The Board supplied the list of disciplined doctors to the ATF. The list included Mann— who had a long history of disciplinary actions before the Board— and four other physicians.

Because Mann's name was on the list supplied by the Board, ATF agents interviewed Mann and his wife, Sangeeta, at their residence in Russellville, Arkansas, on the evening of the bombing. During that interview, Mann mentioned to the agents that he had a collection of guns and a federal firearms license and offered to show the agents his collection. The agents observed that one of Mann's guns was equipped with an M203 grenade launcher.

By chance, on March 3, 2009, city workers discovered 98 40mm High Explosive (HE) M406 grenades and a practice grenade buried in a wooded area approximately 875 feet from the Manns' residence. The grenades were enclosed in a green military ammunition canister and were capable

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of being launched by an M203 grenade launcher like the one owned by Mann.

The following day, officers obtained and executed a search warrant on the Manns' residence looking for evidence connected to the 98 buried grenades. Officers seized five green military canisters from Mann's home that were similar to the canister that contained the buried grenades. One of the five canisters contained the same lot number as the buried canister. Officers also seized 46 practice grenades similar to the buried practice grenade, a manual for a 40mm grenade launcher, a hand grenade manual, 18 firearms, and a 40mm grenade launcher. Officers determined that the 98 buried grenades and 2 of the firearms were not registered to Mann as required by federal law, and Mann was arrested for ownership of unregistered grenades.1

On March 5, 2009, Mann appeared in federal court at an initial appearance on a complaint charging him with unlawful possession of one or more unregistered firearms. On the evening of March 5, 2009, agents executed a second search warrant on the Manns' residence to search for evidence relating to the bombing of Dr. Pierce. Between Mann's initial appearance and his detention hearing, Mann was held in federal custody. Phone conversations between Mann and his wife were recorded, in which Mann's wife informed Mann of the search of their home and of a pending search of Mann's medical office. Mann instructed his wife to remove certain documents from his office prior to the search.

Mann's detention hearing was held on March 9 and 10, 2009, and Mann was detained until trial. A grand jury returned an indictment on April 8, 2009, charging Mann with one count of possession of 98 unregistered grenades. The grand jury returned a superseding indictment on August 6, 2009, that added counts for possession of a machinegun, possession of an unregistered machinegun, possession of an unregistered shotgun, and two counts for obstruction of justice. On January 6, 2010, the grand jury returned a second and final superseding indictment that alleged several counts against Mann: Count 1, using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against a person or property within the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2332a; Count 2, aiding and abetting in the damaging or destruction of a vehicle used in an activity affecting interstate commerce by means of an explosive in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 844(i); Count 3, possession of unregistered grenades in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d); Count 4, possession of an unregistered shotgun in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d); Count 5, possession of an unregistered machinegun in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d); Count 6, possession of a machinegun in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922( o ); Count 7, conspiring to corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512; and Count 8, aiding and abetting in the corrupt concealment of certain documents with the intent to impair the use of the documents in an official proceeding in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512. The indictment also alleged counts of obstruction of justice against Sangeeta Mann.2

Jury selection began on July 6, 2010, and the Manns' trial lasted roughly five weeks, including jury selection and deliberation. The jury convicted Mann on seven of eight counts, finding him not guilty

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of Count 4, possession of an unregistered shotgun, but finding him guilty on all other charges. The district court held a sentencing hearing on February 28, 2011, and sentenced Mann to life imprisonment on Count 1 (the weapons of mass destruction charge); 360 months on Count 2 (the arson charge); 120 months on Counts 2, 5, and 6 (the firearms offenses); and 60 months on Counts 7 and 8 (the obstruction of justice offenses), with all sentences to run concurrently.

Mann appeals his convictions and his sentences, alleging errors at the pretrial stage, at trial, and at sentencing.

II. Pre-Trial

A. Speedy Trial

Mann alleges the district court erred in not granting his motion to dismiss the original indictment with prejudice because the indictment was not filed within the time limits required by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161(b). Mann's argument involves a question of statutory interpretation; thus, we review the district court's decision de novo. Dunham v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, 663 F.3d 997, 1001 (8th Cir.2011); see also United States v. Orozco-Osbaldo, 615 F.3d 955, 957 (8th Cir.2010) (" In the context of Speedy Trial Act rulings, we review a district court's legal conclusions de novo...." ) (internal quotation marks omitted).

Mann was arrested on March 4, 2009; his first appearance on the complaint was March 5, 2009; and the grand jury returned the original indictment on April 8, 2009. Between his arrest on March 4 and the return of the indictment on April 8, more than 30 days passed, and Mann was detained for the entirety of that time. The Speedy Trial Act requires that " [a]ny information or indictment charging an individual with the commission of an offense shall be filed within thirty days from the date on which such individual was arrested or served with a summons in connection with such charges." 18 U.S.C. § 3161(b). However, where an individual is " in a district in which no grand jury has been in session during such thirty-day period, the period of time for filing of the indictment shall be extended an additional thirty days." 18 U.S.C. § 3161(b) (emphasis added).

It is undisputed on appeal that no grand jury was in session during the thirty-day period following Mann's first appearance on the complaint. However, Mann argues that in order for the Government to be entitled to the additional thirty days, the Government was required to make a motion for an extension of time, which the Government did not do.

The district court denied Mann's motion to dismiss the indictment, finding the thirty-day period is automatically extended in the absence of a grand jury, regardless of whether the Government makes a motion to that effect. We agree.

Whether 18 U.S.C. § 3161(b) requires a Government motion to extend the thirty-day period is an issue of statutory interpretation. When interpreting a statute, we first look to its plain language. See...

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