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Criminal Practice – Sentencing Enhancement – Maintaining Premises – Cousin’s House 

Criminal Practice – Sentencing Enhancement – Maintaining Premises – Cousin’s House 

Even though defendant did not own or live at his cousin’s Calvary Street house, (1) defendant claimed ownership of the bulk drugs stored inside the house alongside the accoutrements of drug trafficking; (2) he frequented the Calvary Street house, apparently for the primary – if not sole – purpose of accessing the drugs he stored there in order to portion and sell them, which he did both on the property and up and down Calvary Street multiple times per day; (3) after defendant encountered an informant in the driveway of the Calvary Street house, he invited the informant to return to the house to purchase drugs; (4) defendant later completed the sale to the informant on the premises; and (5) when police arrived to execute a search warrant at Calvary Street, defendant ran into the house before heading for the fence to make his escape. Under these circumstances, the district court did not clearly err in finding that these facts demonstrated defendant’s access to and control over the Calvary Street house and the drug distribution business operating there. 

We affirm the sentencing enhancement for maintaining a premises for the purpose of drug distribution. 

United States v. Barnett (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-104-22, 10 pp.) (Allison Jones Rushing, J.) No. 19-4557. Appealed from USDC at Charlotte, N.C. (Max Cogburn, J.) Richard Croutharmel for appellant; Anthony Joseph Enright and Andrew Murray for the government. 4th Cir. 

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