Case: 13-13002 Date Filed: 10/07/2014 Page: 11 of 15
coincidence. . . . [T]he “in relation to” language allays explicitly the
concern that a person could be punished under § 924(c)(1) for
committing a drug trafficking offense while in possession of a firearm
even though the firearm's presence is coincidental or entirely
unrelated to the crime. Instead, the gun at least must facilitate, or
have the potential of facilitating, the drug trafficking offense.
Smith v. United States, 508 U.S. 223, 238, 113 S.Ct. 2050, 2058-59, 124 L.Ed.2d
138 (1993) (quotations, citation, and alterations omitted). In United States v.
Timmons, we concluded that, even if a gun the defendant possessed while
committing a drug offense did not actually facilitate that offense, the gun, by its
nature, had the potential of facilitating the offense, and the defendant’s carrying it
was therefore related to the offense. 283 F.3d 1246, 1251-52 (11th Cir. 2002).
Here, Bell properly preserved his challenge to the sufficiency of the
evidence: as he moved for judgment of acquittal at the end of the government’s
case, and he did not present a defense case. Accordingly, de novo review applies.
Bell’s challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence on Counts 3 and 4 lack
merit. The government offered evidence showing that the Green Dot debit card he
used to make three purchases on 28 June 2012 contained a piece of tape with D.P’s
last name on it (or what the jury could reasonably conclude was a misspelling of
that name) which suggests that Bell knew the card was registered to D.P. In
addition, the evidence showed that the card was registered without D.P.’s
permission and that a tax refund for D.P., filed without D.P.’s permission, was
deposited onto the card on 27 June 2012, the day before Bell used it to make the