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United States v. Pile

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

April 11, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Steven Sean Pile, Defendant - Appellant

         Submitted January 15, 2016

          For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Anne E. Gardner, Cameron C. McCree, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR.

         Steven Sean Pile, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Memphis, TN.

         For Steven Sean Pile, Defendant - Appellant: Chris Tarver, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender's Office, Little Rock, AR.

         Before MURPHY, SMITH, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

Page 315

          PER CURIAM.

         Steven Pile appeals the district court's[1] denial of his motion to suppress evidence that was obtained pursuant to a search warrant. We affirm.

         I. Background

         In February 2013, Pulaski County law enforcement arranged for an undercover officer to purchase methamphetamine from Pile at his camper located at Willow Beach State Park campground near Scott, Arkansas. On the day of the arranged purchase, Lieutenant Jim Potter and other law enforcement officers set up surveillance of Pile's camper. A confidential informant introduced the undercover officer to Pile, but Pile refused to sell the undercover officer methamphetamine at that time. Instead, Pile wanted to postpone the meeting with the undercover officer and the informant.

         Notwithstanding the failed drug sale, law enforcement decided to arrest Pile on known outstanding felony warrants. When two officers approached Pile outside of his camper, he ran. Once Pile was apprehended, the officers and Pile returned to the campsite, to an area approximately 15 feet from Pile's camper. After reading Pile his Miranda rights, Lieutenant Potter asked him whether there was anyone else at the campsite. Pile said that his friend was inside the camper. Lieutenant Potter approached the side door of the camper, walked up the stairs, opened the door and announced " Sheriff's Office," and looked through the opening of the doorway and saw an individual lying on the couch. Lieutenant Potter then opened the door further and shouted, " Sheriff's Office, hey." He asked the individual to exit the camper. As the individual was exiting,

Page 316

Lieutenant Potter--standing outside--noticed two glass pipes, commonly used to smoke methamphetamine, on a table inside the camper.

         Subsequently, law enforcement sought a warrant based on Lieutenant Potter's observation of the pipes and Pile's postponed methamphetamine sale to the undercover officer. Law enforcement obtained a warrant to search the camper, and during the execution of the warrant, law enforcement uncovered the two glass pipes that ...


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