183 F.3d 746 (8th Cir. 1999), 98-1968, United Statesv. Bell

Docket Nº:98-1968
Citation:183 F.3d 746
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, v. ELMER AUGUSTUS BELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
Case Date:January 12, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 746

183 F.3d 746 (8th Cir. 1999)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ELMER AUGUSTUS BELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

No. 98-1968

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

January 12, 1999

July 02, 1999

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Page 747

Before Loken, Hansen, and Morris Sheppard Arnold, Circuit Judges.

Loken, Circuit Judge.

Elmer Augustus Bell pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute, using a minor in a drug trafficking offense, and failing to appear. See 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 861(a)(1); 18 U.S.C.

Page 748

3146(a)(1) and 2. The district court1 sentenced him to 235 months in prison. Bell appeals, raising suppression and sentencing issues. We affirm.

On December 31, 1993, while Pine Bluff police executed a search warrant at 2406 Remmel Street, several people standing outside the residence told Detective Johnny Alexander that if he wanted to "get the biggest drug dealer," he should go after Elmer Bell. According to these individuals, Bell used fourteen-year-old Tamika Ingram to distribute drugs for him. They added that Bell brought Ingram along on trips to Little Rock to buy drugs from a woman named Linda Bee, and that Ingram kept the drugs on her person when the two drove back to Pine Bluff. Bell had not been a target of the warrant search.

On January 12, 1994, another informant told Alexander that Bell was using Ingram to sell crack cocaine at 2314 Jean Street in Pine Bluff and had given Ingram crack cocaine to hide in her pants. This informant had previously set up a controlled buy of crack cocaine at 2314 Jean Street. Two days later, the same informant told Alexander that Bell and Ingram were again selling crack cocaine at 2314 Jean Street. Police executed a search warrant that day at the Jean Street residence. They found no drugs but did find walkie-talkies, consistent with an anonymous tip that Bell used children with walkie-talkies to warn him when police were coming.

On January 21, Alexander received a telephone call from Verlinda Harris, Bell's ex-girlfriend, who had previously provided reliable information about Bell. Harris told Alexander that Bell had borrowed her car and was driving with Ingram to Little Rock to buy crack cocaine from Linda Bee. She described the car, a gold Chevrolet Cavalier, and provided its license plate number. The Pine Bluff police decided to stop Bell as...

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