United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are Motions to Sever filed by Defendants
Marquis Brandon (Doc. 168), Reginald Johnson, III, (Doc. No.
169), Santez Bradford (Doc. No. 172), Aweis Haji-Mohamed
(Doc. No. 210), and an Amended Motion to Sever filed by
Defendant Charles Braden (Doc. No. 159). The Government has
responded in opposition to all of the Motions (Doc. Nos. 191,
278). For the reasons that follow, the Court will sever the
counts in which Johnson and Bradford are named as the sole
Defendants in the Second Superseding Indictment and try those
27, 2016, a federal grand jury returned the Second
Superseding Indictment containing thirty-one counts naming
six defendants. Thereafter, Defendant Keno Lane, who was
named as the sole defendant in Counts Twenty-Eight through
Thirty-One, pled guilty leaving twenty-seven Counts against
five Defendants. Each of those Defendants has filed a Motion
to Sever counts and/or defendants.
remaining charges involve Hobbs Act robberies, possession of
firearms by unlawful drug users and/or convicted felons,
possession of ammunition by a convicted felon in possession
of controlled substances, the transfer of a firearm, and the
possession of a stolen firearm. A central component of the
Indictment is the use and possession by Defendants of seven
firearms: (1) a Ruger P94, .40 caliber pistol; (2) a Beretta,
Model 90Two, 9mm caliber pistol, (3) a SCCY, 9mm caliber
pistol; (4) a Springfield XD, .40 caliber pistol; (5) a
Glock, Model 23, .40 caliber pistol; (6) a Masterpiece Arms,
Model MPA930, 9mm caliber MAC-11 style pistol; and (7) a
Starfire, Model 30MI, 9mm caliber pistol. The first six of
these firearms were allegedly exchanged between several of
to the specifics and what the Government claims it intends to
prove, Counts One through Seven apparently all involved the
use of the Ruger and/or Beretta in January 2015 and for six
of the seven counts, specifically on January 10, 2015. Count
One charges Braden, being an unlawful user of a controlled
substance, with possessing that handgun in January 2015. He,
along with Haji-Mohamed are charged in the next four counts
for crimes committed on January 10, 2015: Count Two alleges
that they conspired to rob and extort “CS, ” a
person they believed to be a drug dealer; Count Three alleges
they knowingly used, carried, brandished and discharged a
firearm during the robbery of “CS”; Count Four
alleges they conspired to rob and extort Isaiah Starks,
another person they believed to be a drug dealer; and Count
Five alleges that they carried, brandished and discharged a
firearm in relation to the Starks' robbery on January 10,
is charged in Count Six, with the allegedly transferring the
Ruger pistol, also on January 10, 2015, knowing it would be
used in the Starks' robbery. Count Seven charges
Haji-Mohamed with possession of the Ruger by a convicted
felon on January 10, 2015, as well as possessing the Beretta
pistol, which the Government suggests the proof will show was
also involved in Counts Two and Three.
Eight through Twelve are leveled against Haji-Mohamed and
Brandon for crimes alleged to have occurred, at least in
part, on January 22, 2015. Count Eight alleges they conspired
and threatened physical violence in furtherance of a plan to
rob a Cricket Wireless store; Count Nine alleges they used,
carried, and brandished firearms during the conspiracy to rob
that store; Count Ten alleges that both, having previously
been convicted of felony offenses, possessed the SCCY pistol;
Count Eleven alleges that they stole the Springfield XD
pistol from an employee at the Cricket store; and Count
Twelve alleges those Defendants possessed, stored, and
disposed of the stolen Springfield pistol between January 22,
2015 through September 11, 2015.
Thirteen is another felon in possession charge. It charges
Johnson, Haji-Mohamed, and Brandon with possessing the
Springfield XD pistol and using it on February 9, 2015 to
shoot and kill Starks and using it again toward the end of
the month to regain possession of the Glock, which Johnson
had previously sold to another person.
next two Counts involve the Masterpiece Arms pistol and are
against Bradford and Brandon. Count Fourteen charges that
they stole the firearm from a fellow member of Five Deuce
Hoover Crips, while Count Fifteen alleges they possessed and
stored that firearm. Both counts are alleged to have occurred
at some point between January 22 and January 31, 2015.
Masterpiece Arms and two other pistols are involved in Counts
Sixteen and Seventeen. In Count Sixteen, Bradford, a
convicted felon, is alleged to have possessed the Beretta,
Springfield XD and Masterpiece Arms pistols between January 3
and January 31, 2015, while Count Seventeen charges Brandon,
who is also a convicted felon, with possessing the Beretta
and Masterpiece Arms pistols during the same time period.
next two counts involve crimes that occurred between February
15 and 18, 2015, that name Bradford, and involved the Glock.
Bradford allegedly possessed and used that gun to intimidate
and threaten “JH” (Count Eighteen), while knowing
that it had been stolen (Count Nineteen).
Twenty through Twenty-Two are also directed solely at
Bradford and involve crimes committed on February 19, 2015.
On that date, he is alleged to have unlawfully possessed the
SCCY pistol (Count Twenty), to have possessed with intent to
distribute cocaine (Count Twenty-One), and to have possessed
a firearm while distributing the cocaine (Count Twenty-Two).
Twenty-Four and Twenty-Five are also gun and drug trafficking
charges. Count Twenty-Four charges Johnson with knowingly
possessing with intent to distribute a Schedule I controlled
substance analogue within 1, 000 feet of a public housing
complex on May 14, 2015, while the next count ...