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United States v. Thurmond

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

April 13, 2015

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Shaquandis Thurmond, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted February 13, 2015

Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Cedar Rapids.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Justin A. Lightfoot, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Martin Joseph McLaughlin, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Northern District of Iowa, Cedar Rapids, IA.

For Shaquandis Thurmond, Defendant - Appellant: John P. Messina, Assistant Federal Public Defender, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines, IA.

Shaquandis Thurmond, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Florence, CO.

Before BYE, BEAM, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1043

BEAM, Circuit Judge.

Shaquandis Thurmond appeals the district court's[1] denial of his motion to suppress, having preserved the right to do so following his entry of a conditional guilty plea to possession of an unregistered (short-barreled) firearm in violation of 26 U.S.C. § § 5845(a), 5861(d), and 5871. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

As set out in the warrant application relevant here, on February 6, 2013, the Cedar Rapids police department received a tip from an informant that " a black male and black female are selling crack cocaine" from a specified address in Cedar Rapids. This informant also stated that the people who reside at the residence drove a " new car," and identified the license plate number. Police discovered, however, that the number provided was registered to a 1994 GMC Vandura. Police records revealed no other noted recent activity at the residence in question.

On February 18, 2013, an officer went to the address and did a " trash pull," collecting thirteen black trash bags next to the alley behind the residence. Of relevance here, one of the bags contained " 2 suspected marijuana roaches with green plant material inside that look[ed] and smell[ed] like marijuana, blunt material, blunt paper, 2 baggie knots, cigarillos wrappers, and a mail document from the State of Iowa Disabilities Determination Service Bureau dated 01-25-13 to Shaquandis Thurmond" at the very same address. The warrant explained that blunt material is the tobacco from a cigarillo cigar that can be removed and replaced with marijuana prior to smoking the cigar. A field test of the suspected marijuana tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). On February 19, the officer also saw a white van parked in the rear of the residence with the matching license plate number as that previously provided by the informant. The officer conducted surveillance at the residence again on February 20, witnessed two individuals coming and going from the residence, saw the same van arrive at the residence and watched a black male exit the vehicle and enter the residence. The officer clarified in the warrant that he saw no " activity consistent with the sale of illegal drugs" based on this surveillance.

Page 1044

Police records revealed that Thurmond was arrested about one month prior for possession of a controlled substance and had a juvenile criminal history including an ...


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