United States Fourth Circuit

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US v. Mason, 12-8042

In this case, defendant challenges his conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of powder cocaine on grounds that he was provided ineffective assistance of counsel. Conviction is affirmed, where: 1) defendant’s attorneys, on this record, chose to pursue a Fourth Amendment challenge to the extension of the traffic stop and to the K-9 search that led to his arrest, a course of action that the majority of attorneys would have taken for their client; 2) defendant’s attorneys cannot be faulted for believing it was a better strategy to challenge the traffic stop and arrest with the Fourth Amendment, and not the Equal Protection Clause; and 3) defendant’s attorneys cannot be faulted for declining to pursue a non-existent Doyle violation in this case.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 12/18/2014
  • Published 12/18/2014


  • Wilkinson


  • United States Fourth Circuit


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