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United States v. Bearden

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

March 17, 2015

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Anthony Lynn Bearden, Defendant - Appellant

 Submitted November 12, 2014

Page 888

Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - Springfield.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Cynthia Jean Hyde, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Gary K. Milligan, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Springfield, MO.

Anthony Lynn Bearden, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Leavenworth, KS.

For Anthony Lynn Bearden, Defendant - Appellant: Marsha Diana Jackson, Springfield, MO.

Before BYE, SHEPHERD, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 889

KELLY, Circuit Judge.

Following denial of his motions to suppress,[1] Anthony Bearden entered a conditional plea of guilty to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana plants, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § § 846, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(A), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A). The district court[2] found Bearden was a career offender and sentenced him to 180 months' imprisonment.

Page 890

Bearden appeals the denial of his motions to suppress and his classification as a career offender. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm the judgment.

I. Background

A magistrate judge[3] held a joint hearing on the motions to suppress filed by Bearden and his co-defendant, Charles White. At the hearing, the government presented the testimony of officers involved in obtaining and executing the search warrants. Officer Billy Simpson and Detective Ken Minica of the Polk County, Arkansas, Sheriff's Department both testified that on March 21, 2012, they were attempting to locate an address in rural Polk County as part of an unrelated investigation into identity theft. The area was sparsely populated and heavily wooded, making it difficult to see houses from the road. Unable to locate the address, the officers decided to contact people at nearby residences for assistance.

The officers located a house later identified as Bearden's, but they did not enter the property because of a closed gate on the driveway. The officers left a business card at another residence when no one answered their knock. Then, the officers saw and drove down another driveway through a wooded area. Both officers testified they did not open a gate to access the property. At the end of the driveway was a house, and the driveway looped around the house. Approaching from the north, the officers did not see a door to the residence, so they continued on the circular drive to the south side of the house, where ...


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