83 F.3d 89 (4th Cir. 1996), 95-5357, United States v. Rahman

Docket Nº:95-5357.
Citation:83 F.3d 89
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Tariq A. RAHMAN, a/k/a Ace Johnson, a/k/a Graham Johnson, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:May 09, 1996
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
 
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Page 89

83 F.3d 89 (4th Cir. 1996)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Tariq A. RAHMAN, a/k/a Ace Johnson, a/k/a Graham Johnson,

Defendant-Appellant.

No. 95-5357.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

May 9, 1996

Argued March 4, 1996.

Page 90

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 91

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Richmond. James R. Spencer, District Judge. (CR-95-1).

ARGUED: Steven Dwain Goodwin, Steven D. Benjamin & Associates, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellant. David T. Maguire, United States Attorney's Office, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee.

Before WILKINSON, Chief Judge, and HALL and WILKINS, Circuit Judges.

Affirmed by published opinion. Judge WILKINS wrote the opinion, in which Chief Judge WILKINSON and Judge HALL joined.

OPINION

WILKINS, Circuit Judge:

Tariq A. Rahman was convicted of six counts of making a false statement in connection with his acquisition of a firearm, see 18 U.S.C.A. § 922(a)(6) (West Supp.1996), and six counts of unlawful possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year, see 18 U.S.C.A. § 922(g)(1) (West Supp.1996). He appeals these convictions, principally arguing that the district court erroneously instructed the jury on an element of a § 922(a)(6) offense and that the evidence was insufficient to support his § 922(g)(1) convictions. We affirm.

I.

Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government, the record demonstrates the following. See Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60, 80, 62 S.Ct. 457, 469, 86 L.Ed. 680 (1942). While executing a search warrant at a Virginia residence, law enforcement officers seized two firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) traced the serial numbers of the firearms and learned that they had been sold by the Virginia Police Equipment Company (VPEC), a local privately-owned business and a federally-licensed firearms dealer.

An inspection of VPEC records disclosed evidence indicating that Rahman had purchased these two firearms as well as four others. For each of these six weapons, VPEC records contained two pertinent documents: (1) a sales receipt listing the date of the transaction and showing Rahman as the purchaser and (2) a Firearms Transaction Record--an ATF form that federal law dictates must be completed prior to all firearm transactions--indicating that Rahman had completed and signed it on the same date as shown on the corresponding receipt. In response to the question on each of these ATF forms asking whether the transferee had been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year, Rahman had answered, "No."

The parties stipulated that at the time of all of the sales Rahman was a convicted felon, that he was prohibited from possessing a fire arm, and that he was aware of both of these facts. In addition, the parties stipulated that the firearms had been manufactured outside of Virginia and had travelled in or affected interstate commerce prior to the dates of the sales. Further, defense counsel conceded in his opening statement that Rahman had completed and signed the ATF forms. And, expert testimony confirmed that the handwriting on the ATF forms was Rahman's and that his fingerprints had been discovered on one of them.

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