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Convicted Felon Caught With Gun

U.S. v. Goodwin-Bey, Case No. 09-1317 (C.A. 8, October 28, 2009)

Scott Goodwin-Bey entered a conditional guilty plea to the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, reserving the right to appeal the denial of his motion to suppress. We affirm.

The facts of this case are not in dispute. On April 3, 2007, Officer Daniel Rankey stopped a white Mitsubishi Galant, which Goodwin-Bey was driving, for running a red light. While Officer Rankey attempted to identify the vehicle’s four occupants, he received a report of an earlier incident in which occupants of a white Mitsubishi Galant had displayed a firearm. A short time later, Officer Mark Foos arrived to further investigate that incident.

During the course of the stop, Officer Rankey learned of an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation issued for the front passenger, Lawrence Freeman. Officer Greg Sly then arrested and handcuffed Freeman. The officers conducted protective patdowns of the vehicle’s other three occupants, including Goodwin-Bey.

After Freeman’s arrest, Officer Rankey searched the vehicle. Finding the glove box locked, Officer Rankey took Goodwin-Bey’s keys to continue the search, over Goodwin-Bey’s objection. Inside the glove box, Officer Rankey found a Derringer handgun, which he seized. Although Goodwin-Bey admitted that he was a convicted Felon, Officer Rankey did not arrest Goodwin-Bey at the time, instead advising Goodwin-Bey that a detective would contact him for a follow-up investigation. Freeman was transported to the county jail, and Officer Rankey allowed Goodwin-Bey and the other two passengers to leave.

A grand jury later indicted Goodwin-Bey on the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). Goodwin-Bey moved to suppress the gun, arguing that Officer Rankey’s search of the vehicle violated the Fourth Amendment. The magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation proposing that Goodwin-Bey’s motion be denied, which the district court adopted in full. The district court then accepted Goodwin-Bey’s conditional guilty plea and sentenced him to 70 months’ imprisonment. Goodwin-Bey now appeals the denial of his motion to suppress, arguing first that the search incident to Freeman’s arrest was impermissible under Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. ---, 129 S. Ct. 1710 (2009), because the arrest scene was secure. Second, he argues that the district court erred in finding probable cause sufficient to justify the search.
 

 

Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Related Categories: Constitutional Law
 
Circuit Court Judge(s)
Arlen Beam
Raymond Gruender
Michael Melloy

 
Trial Court Judge(s)
Richard Dorr

 
Appellant Lawyer(s) Appellant Law Firm(s)
David Randolph Mercer Office of the Federal Public Defender
Michelle Kay Nahon Office of the Federal Public Defender
Scott Goodwin-Bey Pro Se

 
Appellee Lawyer(s) Appellee Law Firm(s)
James J. Kelleher US Attorney's Office

 

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district of missouri. much in conceding that the officers had a reasonable suspicion of dangerousness davis, 569 f.3d 813 (8th cir. 2009). as here, davis involved three unsecured sufficient to justify a protective pat-down of goodwin-bey. appellant br. 18. all of permit a vehicle search incident to an arrest. id. where those concerns are present, 4 2002)). "[s]earches conducted outside the judicial process, without prior approval by running a red light. while officer rankey attempted to identify the vehicle's four since the other occupants had been patted down and did not outnumber the officers on the fourth amendment has been violated." united states v. williams, 577 f.3d 878, appellant. * ii. discussion to suppress. we affirm. the occupants were outside the vehicle at the time of the search, but "[a]bsent an u.s. at 460. the "reaching area" rule serves the dual purposes of "protecting arresting see davis, 569 f.3d at 817 (articulating the test for applying the automobile (noting that the circuits are split on this issue). the report of the earlier incident report of a displayed firearm was sufficiently fresh to justify the pat-down, it follows mitsubishi galant had displayed a firearm. a short time later, officer mark foos v. siwek, 453 f.3d 1079, 1084 (8th cir. 2006). therefore, we need not reach officers." united states v. peoples, 925 f.2d 1082, 1087 (8th cir. 1991). thus, we the facts of this case are not in dispute. on april 3, 2007, officer daniel filed: october 28, 2009 5 while the government incident to arrest exception to the warrant requirement, gant left this exception possession of a firearm, a violation of 18 u.s.c. 922(g). goodwin-bey moved to hold that a reasonably prudent officer on the scene would be warranted in believing the honorable richard e. dorr, united states district judge for the western bey and the other two passengers to leave. subjective, standard. united states v. plummer, 409 f.3d 906, 909 (8th cir. 2005) impermissible under arizona v. gant, 556 u.s. ---, 129 s. ct. 1710 (2009), because to justify a search incident to arrest under belton. ___________ v. * district court for the does not argue that the officers were concerned about evidence destruction or the vehicle to `gain immediate control of weapons.'" gant, 129 s. ct. at 1721 ___________ concerns for officer safety would justify the search under michigan v. long's scott goodwin-bey, * -6- 2004); united states v. woody, 55 f.3d 1257, 1269 (7th cir. 1995). exception described in chimel v. california, 395 u.s. 752, 763 (1969), and the -3- before melloy, beam and gruender, circuit judges. downs of the vehicle's other three occupants, including goodwin-bey. his motion to suppress, arguing first that the search incident to freeman's arrest was gave rise to "textbook examples of `the safety and evidentiary justifications the other passengers were not secured, unlike the bystanders in gant, officer safety that the suspect is dangerous and the suspect may gain immediate control of california, 496 u.s. 128, 133 n.4 (1990) (quoting katz v. united states, 389 u.s. 347, response to a reasonable suspicion of danger. that the gun was found in a locked glove box does not eliminate the potential full. the district court then accepted goodwin-bey's conditional guilty plea and probable cause sufficient to justify the search. only to a few specifically established and well-delineated exceptions." horton v. arrived to further investigate that incident. rankeylackedprobablecausetosearchthevehicleunderthe"automobileexception." * although neither officer rankey's report nor his testimony mention any 3 reasonable suspicion of dangerousness exception articulated in terry v. ohio, 392 the judgment of the district court on any basis supported by the record." united states conceal or destroy." gant, 129 s. ct. at 1716. in gant, the supreme court recently compartment of an automobile, limited to those areas in which a weapon may be the facts here are similar to those of our recent decision in united states v. ___________ for the eighth circuit appellee, * reasonable suspicion of dangerousness exception. "[t]he search of the passenger provided a reasonable suspicion that there was a weapon in the vehicle that the concerns were present to an even greater degree here.3 the search incident to arrest exception thus justified the search. id. those same safety held that where those two concerns are not present, the fourth amendment does not scott goodwin-bey entered a conditional guilty plea to the charge of being a reaching area includes "the passenger compartment of that automobile." belton, 453 united states v. mitchell, 31 f.3d 628, 633 n.3 (8th cir. 1994), goodwin-bey's box locked, officer rankey took goodwin-bey's keys to continue the search, over he stopped had displayed a firearm during an earlier incident.4 western district of missouri. for the foregoing reasons, we affirm the district court's denial of goodwin- are absent" (emphasis added)). these unsecured passengers and the presence of alcohol and marijuana at the scene * fourth amendment. the magistrate judge1 unsecured occupants could immediately access. indeed, goodwin-bey admits as concerns justified the search. goodwin-bey argues that the scene was in fact secure, after lawfully arresting a suspect, officers may reasonably search "the area into 880 (8th cir. 2009) (quoting united states v. walsh, 299 f.3d 729, 730 (8th cir. sly then arrested and handcuffed freeman. the officers conducted protective pat- united states of america, * which an arrestee might reach in order to grab a weapon or evidentiary items." occupants, he received a report of an earlier incident in which occupants of a white handgun, which he seized. although goodwin-bey admitted that he was a convicted during the course of the stop, officer rankey learned of an outstanding warrant i. background bey's motion to suppress. placed or hidden, is permissible if the police officer possesses a reasonable belief . . . felon in possession of a firearm, reserving the right to appeal the denial of his motion * western district of missouri. (quoting long, 463 u.s. at 1049). therefore, even if belton's search incident to arrest requirement. id. at 1716-17. the government argues that because goodwin-bey and 357 (1967)). two exceptions are relevant to this case: the search incident to arrest gruender, circuit judge. 1714). we held that the presence of chimel's concerns distinguished gant, and that belton, 453 u.s. 454 (1981), and michigan v. long, 463 u.s. 1032 (1983), however, belton continues to permit the search as an exception to the warrant -4- motion to suppress for clear error and review de novo the ultimate question of whether the arrest scene was secure. second, he argues that the district court erred in finding involving occupants of a car of the same make, model and color displaying a weapon danger to the officers. see united states v. palmer, 360 f.3d 1243, 1247 (10th cir. after freeman's arrest, officer rankey searched the vehicle. finding the glove search-incident-to-arrest exception . . . does not apply" when "both justifications . . . probable cause to justify the search under the automobile exception, "we may affirm officers and safeguarding any evidence of the offense of arrest that an arrestee might -5- placed or hidden," long, 463 u.s. at 1049, only reasonable suspicion of that the report implicates chimel's safety concerns. exception to the warrant requirement. see gant 129 s. ct. at 1716 (noting that "the * appeal from the united states judge or magistrate, are per se unreasonable under the fourth amendment--subject adopted in arrest," they "would have been free to reenter the [vehicle] and pose a danger to the goodwin-bey that a detective would contact him for a follow-up investigation. the scene. concealment,5 united states court of appeals exception. no. 09-1317 exception). because the gun was found in an "area[] in which a weapon may be concession that the officers had a reasonable suspicion to perform a protective pat- to justify a search incident to arrest. either concern standing alone may trigger the the number of the vehicle's occupants, sufficiently implicated officer safety concerns 2 felon, officer rankey did not arrest goodwin-bey at the time, instead advising ___________ issued a report and recommendation ___________ underlying chimel's reaching-distance rule.'" id. at 817 (quoting gant, 129 s. ct. at rankey stopped a white mitsubishi galant, which goodwin-bey was driving, for neither chimel nor gant require both safety and evidentiary concerns to exist respectively. incident might have been so remote in time as to render the report stale. regardless freeman was transported to the county jail, and officer rankey allowed goodwin- officer rankey received a permissible both as a search incident to freeman's arrest and as a protective search in report that occupants of a vehicle of the same make, model and color as the vehicle proposing that goodwin-bey's motion be denied, which the district court2 for a traffic violation issued for the front passenger, lawrence freeman. officer greg permissible under michigan v. long's reasonable suspicion of dangerousness whether a reasonable suspicion of dangerousness existed under an objective, not a thehonorablejamesc.england,chiefunitedstatesmagistratejudgeforthe iii. conclusion exception to the warrant requirement did not apply, officer rankey's search was sentenced him to 70 months' imprisonment. goodwin-bey now appeals the denial of dangerousness, not probable cause, was necessary. while the district court found that goodwin-bey and his unsecured passengers were "`dangerous' and might access as a result, there is no need to reach goodwin-bey's argument that officer suspicion that goodwin-bey or the other occupants might pose a danger, we evaluate submitted: september 22, 2009 ______________________________ chimel, 395 u.s. at 763. when the arrestee recently occupied an automobile, the down, appellant br. 18, disposes of the claim. because goodwin-bey admits that the untouched. gant, 129 s. ct. at 1721. weapons." michigan v. long, 463 u.s. 1032, 1049 (1983). in reexamining the search a grand jury later indicted goodwin-bey on the charge of being a felon in suppress the gun, arguing that officer rankey's search of the vehicle violated the -2- 1 goodwin-bey's objection. inside the glove box, officer rankey found a derringer goodwin-bey's argument regarding probable cause because the vehicle search was at oral argument, goodwin-bey suggested for the first time that this earlier our holding in davis dictates that the earlier incident report, along with even if the search incident to arrest exception did not apply, these same of whether this argument was waived for failure to raise it in his opening brief, see passengers and one vehicle occupant who had been arrested. the court found that "we examine the factual findings underlying the district court's denial of the u.s. 1 (1968). these exceptions apply to searches of vehicles under new york v.


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