United States v. Thomas Norman

PUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 18-4214 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff – Appellee, v. THOMAS EDWARD NORMAN, Defendant – Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Spartanburg. Henry M. Herlong, Jr., Senior District Judge. (7:17-cr-00527-HMH-1) Argued: May 7, 2019 Decided: August 15, 2019 Before MOTZ, KING, and THACKER, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by published opinion. Judge Motz wrote the opinion, in which Judge Thacker joined. Judge King wrote an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. ARGUED: Emily Deck Harrill, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellant. Brook Bowers Andrews, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellee. ON BRIEF: Sherri A. Lydon, United States Attorney, Columbia, South Carolina, Jennifer E. Wells, Special Assistant United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Greenville, South Carolina, for Appellee. DIANA GRIBBON MOTZ, Circuit Judge: The district court found Thomas Edward Norman guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On the basis of his prior conviction for conspiracy to possess cocaine and cocaine base with intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, the court applied an effective six-level enhancement to Norman’s sentence under United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.) § 2K2.1(a)(4)(A). Norman appeals the denial of his motion to suppress and the imposition of the enhancement. For the reasons that follow, we affirm. I. We relate the facts relevant to the suppression motion in the light most favorable to the Government, the prevailing party before the district court. See United States v. Bullette, 854 F.3d 261, 265 (4th Cir. 2017). On December 7, 2016, officers with the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force and the local sheriff’s office received information that Norman, wanted on an outstanding warrant for violating the terms of his supervised release, could be found in a black Camry on Archer Road in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Arriving on the scene, the officers approached the vehicle, removed Norman, and placed him under arrest pursuant to the outstanding warrant. They then searched Norman and found a large amount of cash and a cell phone in his pockets. The officers also removed and searched the sole passenger in 2 the vehicle, Princess Harrison; they found a baggie in her hair, which she admitted contained cocaine residue. When officers placed the cash seized from Norman’s person on the driver’s side seat of the Camry, they saw additional cash on the car’s floorboard. The officers later ascertained that the total amount of cash recovered from Norman’s person and the floorboard was $1,244. The officers also observed a small tied-up quarter baggie sitting behind the gear stick on the center console of the vehicle. One officer testified that, based on the baggie’s distinctive appearance and his seventeen years of experience with narcotics investigations, he believed the baggie contained contraband. The ...

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