April 15, 2014 4th Circuit published opinion

United States v Galloway

Galloway was convicted of drug trafficking. The panel affirmed. It held that the record did not plainly demonstrate ineffective assistance of counsel because there were only allegations by Galloway and denials by the attorney in the record and the district court appointed new counsel and offered to continue the trial. The panel held that the restrictions on Galloway’s access to discovery when he prepared for a pro se defense were reasonable given the security challenges in federal detention centers and the steps taken by standby counsel to mitigate the lack of electrical outlets in the room set aside for Galloway to review discovery. The panel affirmed the use of wiretap evidence as the affidavits in support gave detailed accounts of the investigation into Galloway’s trafficking, the difficulties experienced and the need for wiretapping Galloway’s cell phones. The panel finally held that the district court did not plainly error in allowing federal agents to testify about coded language among drug dealers as they had experience sufficient to qualify as experts, explained their method of using context to interpret the code and the district court reminded the jury that it did not need to accept anything the witnesses said.

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