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United States v. Smalls

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division

November 20, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MARTELL SHARIF SMALLS, Known as Martel Quameh Bey, Defendant.

          ORDER

          DAVID C. NORTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on several motions brought by Martell Sharif Smalls, known as Martel Quameh Bey (“Bey”), regarding: (1) his status as a Moorish National; (2) claims that the court lacks jurisdiction over his case; (3) discovery issues; and (4) the alleged misconduct of members of the court and the U.S. Attorney's Office (“USAO”). For the reasons set forth below, the court denies or finds moot the motions.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On December 14, 2017, Bey was charged in a ten count indictment for allegedly committing a robbery spree involving four businesses.

         Count 1 is for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), for being a felon in possession of a firearm; this count is based on a search warrant executed on March 4, 2016 on Bey's residence in Goose Creek that resulted in the recovery of a pistol and two shotguns.

         Counts 2 and 3 are for violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1951 and 924(c)(1)(A)(ii), for Hobbs Act robbery and for brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, respectively; these counts are based on Bey's alleged armed robbery of the Check Into Cash located at 8510 Rivers Avenue, North Charleston, South Carolina on September 20, 2016.

         Counts 4 and 5 are for violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1951 and 924(c)(1)(A)(ii), for Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, respectively; these counts are based on Bey's alleged armed robbery of the Check-N-Go at 8316 Rivers Avenue, North Charleston, South Carolina on October 1, 2016.

         Counts 6 and 7 are for violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1951 and 924(c)(1)(A)(ii), for Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, respectively; these counts are based on Bey's alleged armed robbery of the Advance America store at 505 North Highway 52, Suite C. Moncks Corner, South Carolina on October 5, 2016.

         Counts 8 and 9 are for violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(d) and 924(c)(1)(A)(ii), for armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, respectively; these counts are based on Bey's alleged armed robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank at 148 Sea Island Parkway, Lady's Island, South Carolina on October 27, 2016.

         Count 10 is for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), for being a felon in possession of a firearm; this count is based on a search warrant which was executed on November 8, 2016 on Bey's residence that resulted in the recovery of a pistol.

         The bank robbery charge-Count 8-carries a possible sentence of 25 years. Bey's three Hobbs Act robbery charges-Counts 2, 4, and 6-carry a possible 20 year sentence. Each of Bey's felon in possession charges-Counts 1 and 10-carry a possible 10 year sentence. Thus, Bey is facing a potential sentence of 65 years for the robbery and felon in possession counts.

         Bey is also facing mandatory minimum sentences for Counts 3, 5, 7, and 9 for violations of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii), brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence. If convicted on the first of these counts, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years. If convicted for the remaining three § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) counts, he will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years per count. Thus, Bey is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 82 years if convicted of the four § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) counts, in addition to the potential 65 year sentence for the robbery and felon in possession counts. The court reiterates that, while it has some discretion over the potential 65 year sentence, it has no discretion whatsoever to lower the sentence for the four § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) counts. In other words, if Bey is convicted of the § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) counts, the court is bound by federal law to sentence Bey to a minimum of 82 years in prison, in addition to whatever sentence he receives for the robbery and felon in possession counts.

         Since his indictment, Bey has filed a multitude of motions and other filings which the court construes liberally as motions, since Bey is proceeding pro se. The court now addresses those items that have been filed beginning in January 2018.

         II. ...


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