May 16, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Central
District of Illinois. No. 4:17-CR-40062 - James E. Shadid,
Bauer, Hamilton, and St. Eve, Circuit Judges.
Hamilton, Circuit Judge
Steven Adams pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of
a firearm. In this appeal, he challenges the district
court's denial of his motion to suppress and its
application of the Sentencing Guidelines to his case. We
affirm. Probable cause supported the search warrant for
Adams' house, and in any event the officers could rely on
the warrant in good faith. Further, the district court
properly calculated Adams' guideline range, taking into
account his prior drug conspiracy conviction.
Factual & Procedural Background
March 22, 2016, Adams, his girlfriend, and a third person
were pulled over for speeding. The car was registered to
Adams' girlfriend, Leanna Brandon. Law enforcement
officers were familiar with Adams because he was the subject
of anonymous tips regarding drug activity at his house in
Keithsburg, Illinois. They also knew that Adams had a
previous conviction for conspiracy to distribute
methamphetamine. The third person in the car was also the
subject of anonymous tips regarding drug activity and had
outstanding arrest warrants.
the traffic stop, the sheriff's deputy smelled marijuana
from the car. The car was searched, and deputies found a meth
pipe, paraphernalia used with marijuana, and marijuana. The
three occupants were arrested and taken back to the station,
where Brandon-after receiving Miranda warnings- told
the arresting deputy that additional items of drug
paraphernalia, a gun, and a safe containing methamphetamine
pipes were at Adams' house. Brandon told the deputy that
she also stayed in the house and that she had been there
earlier that same day. She described the layout of the house
and provided descriptions of Adams' bedroom and the gun
application for a search warrant, the deputy wrote:
Brandon disclosed that at Adam's residence, at [street
address], there is often meth and cannabis used. Brandon
stays at the residence, and is familiar with the goings on
there. She said that there is drug paraphernalia for
ingestion of cannabis and methamphetamine in the house.
Brandon went into great detail of Adams bedroom where she
sleeps when she stays. She said she was last there at around
0430 hours this morning (03/22/2016). She described
Adams' room as being in the northwest corner of the house
and drew a floor plan of the house. She drew an enlargement
of Adams' room. She described a dresser with a mirror on
the west wall of the bedroom. She said that on that dresser,
there is always a clear glass bong. She has seen it used to
ingest cannabis. She said the bowl part of it is not on it,
but it does have residue in it. She also said that there is a
colorful swirled designed "bowl" that looks like an
elephant; this is used for ingestion of cannabis on a
nightstand next to the bed. She said that her .45 caliber
Smith and Wesson pistol is in the house. It has a cable lock
in it and she has the only keys. She said the pistol is black
and is in the blue plastic case. She said there is a
gray/black colored safe in the bedroom. Inside that safe is
meth pipes, and maybe some meth and cannabis.
Brandon said Adams' bedroom is locked with a deadbolt.
She said that only she and Adams have keys. She said that
only Adams and she have the keys for the safe in the bedroom,
and she provided me one from her purse.
She said that there may be other paraphernalia in the house.
She said that [Female] and [Male] stay in a bedroom next to
Adams. She said that [Female] frequently "huffs"
hair spray and has expressed her displeasure of the aerosol
odor in the house to [Female]. This agency has also received
recent information about [Male] being at the residence.
[Male] had a history for possession of narcotics through
on the results of the traffic stop search, Adams' prior
conviction, the anonymous tips, and the information from
Brandon, the police obtained a search warrant for Adams'
house from a state-court judge. They executed the warrant the
same day as the traffic stop. In Adams' room, they found
a locked plastic gun case that Brandon had described. A .45
caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and two loaded ...