Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

U.S. v. WHITE

July 5, 2005.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee
v.
GRANVILLE WHITE, Appellant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: YVETTE KANE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM

I. Introduction

Granville White has appealed from a judgment of conviction imposed by Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser under the Assimilative Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 13. On August 11, 2004, White was arrested at the New Cumberland Army Depot ("Army Depot") for driving a motor vehicle while his license was suspended due to a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. Judge Smyser imposed a sentence of 75 days imprisonment, but White has remained on bond pending a determination of his appeal.

  White makes only one argument in support of his appeal: that the government presented insufficient evidence to establish an essential element of the offense charged, namely, that he was driving his motor vehicle on a "highway" or "trafficway" at the time he was stopped at the Army Depot.

  II. Background

  The record reveals, and White does not contest, the following facts. On August 11, 2004, White's driving privileges were suspended as a result of a DUI conviction. On that date, White drove to the New Cumberland Army Depot for a pre-employment physical examination. In order to reach the Army Depot, White drove down Old Depot Road in Fairview Township, York County, Pennsylvania. As White drove down Old Depot Road, he was driving parallel to one side of the Army Depot, which is enclosed by a barbed wire fence located several feet off the road. Eventually, White arrived at a point where the barbed wire fence gave way to a gate which serves as the entry way for cars to access the Army Depot.

  Located in front of the Army Depot's fence at this location is a large warning sign in bold red lettering that advises drivers as follows:
WARNING DEFENSE DISTRIBUTION CENTER
It is unlawful to enter this installation without the permission of the Activity Commander Section 21 of the Internal Security Act of 1950, 50 USC 797. While in this area, all personnel and the property under their control are subject to search. Possession of cameras, alcoholic beverages, and firearms are specifically prohibited unless authorized by the Activity Commander. ANY SUCH MATERIAL IS SUBJECT TO BE CONFISCATED
(Doc. No. 5, Ex. C.) White passed this sign unimpeded and turned on to Mission Drive through an open gate.*fn1 Mission Drive is the primary access road from Old Depot Road and traverses the Army Depot. Mission Drive has traffic signs, clearly marked traffic lines, and designated pedestrian walkways. (Id., at 10-15.)

  Past the fence several yards along Mission Drive is an inclement weather booth staffed by Army Depot guards. The guards manning this booth stop all vehicles seeking entry to the Depot in order to conduct an identification check. (Id., at 21.) Drivers and passengers seeking admission to the Army Depot are typically employees of the facility or those seeking employment within the Depot. (Id., at 22.) All persons stopped at the booth must advise federal officers as to where they will be going within the Depot.*fn2 (Id.) Officers permit entry only to visitors with specific permission to enter the Depot for particular authorized purposes. (Id., at 21-22.)

  During the morning of August 11, 2004, federal police officer Michael Nallo and a fellow officer were stationed at the inclement weather booth identified during trial as Post 3. (Id., at 6-7.) After White drove past the electric fence bearing the warning sign, he was directed to stop his vehicle at Post 3. At this point, Officer Nallo approached White's car and requested identification and a driver's license. (Id., at 7.) After checking White's identification, Officer Nallo learned that White's license had been suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol. (Id., at 7-8.) Officer Nallo issued White a citation, charging him under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code with driving with a suspended license (DUI) in violation of 75 Pa. C.S. § 1543(b)(1) as an assimilated federal offense pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 13.

  III. Procedural Background

  White pleaded not guilty to the offense charged and on November 17, 2004, Judge Smyser conducted a bench trial. White's single argument during the trial was that he did not violate § 1543(b)(1) because the government could not establish an element necessary to the charged offense: namely, that the offense occurred while White was driving on a "trafficway." White asserted that he was stopped by Officer Nallo while inside the Army Depot on an interior federal road that was not open to the public. (Id., at 27-35.) After taking evidence and hearing argument by the parties, Judge Smyser found Defendant guilty of the offense charged. (Id., at 36.) Judge Smyser did not specifically address Defendant White's challenge, but found that all essential elements of the crime charged had been proven. On April 7, 2005, White was sentenced to seventy-five days imprisonment, a $500 fine, and a $10 special assessment. On April 1, 2005, White filed a timely notice of appeal.

  IV. Jurisdiction and Standard of Review

  This Court has jurisdiction over this appeal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3402. The standard of review applicable to review of a magistrate judge's decision is identical to that employed by the court of appeals on an appeal from a conviction in district court. Fed.R.Crim.P. 58(g)(2)(D). Under a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, the Court's standard of review is "particularly deferential." United States v. Hedaithy, 392 F.3d 580, 604 (3d Cir. 2004) (quotation omitted). The verdict must be sustained if there is substantial evidence to support the decision. Id. at 605 (citation omitted). The Court may overturn a verdict only if "after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.