201 F.3d 449 (10th Cir. 1999), 99-7034, U.S. v. Clayton

Docket Nº:99-7034.
Citation:201 F.3d 449
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Harold Glen CLAYTON, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:November 30, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Page 449

201 F.3d 449 (10th Cir. 1999)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Harold Glen CLAYTON, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 99-7034.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

November 30, 1999

         Editorial Note:

         This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA10 Rule 36.3 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

        1999 CJ C.A.R. 6461

        Before ANDERSON, BARRETT, and BRISCOE, Circuit Judges.



        After examining the briefs and appellate record, this panel has determined unanimously to grant the parties' request for a decision on the briefs without oral argument. See Fed.R.App.P. 34(f); 10th Cir.R. 34.1(G). The case is therefore ordered submitted without oral argument.

        Defendant Harold Glen Clayton conditionally pled guilty pursuant to Fed.R.Crim.P. § 11(a)(2) to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, to money laundering conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h), and to unlawful removal of vehicle identification numbers in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 511(a). Defendant claims the district court erred in denying his motions to suppress certain evidence and to suppress the testimony of certain witnesses as violative of 18 U.S.C. § 201(c)(2) (prohibiting bribery of witnesses). Our jurisdiction arises under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and we affirm.

        I. Facts

        On April 15, 1998, deputies from the Hughes County, Oklahoma Sheriff's Office arrested defendant pursuant to an arrest warrant on a charge of racketeering. Deputies had observed defendant's car outside his business, the Sandy Bar Game Club. Four officers wearing bullet proof vests surrounded the premises. Two of the officers testified they were concerned for their safety in making the arrest because weapons had been involved in many of their earlier interactions with defendant and because defendant had threatened officers on earlier occasions. See R. Vol. VI, at 35, 52. One officer, Deputy Sutterfield, testified that while he was outside the club, he heard noises in the southeast corner of the building which sounded like someone moving objects around. See id. at 54-55.

        The deputies entered the club into a hallway and then into a concession area, which one officer estimated to be approximately twenty-five to thirty-five feet wide and forty-five to fifty-five feet long. The officers saw defendant and another man they did not recognize, a Mr. Blackman, in the concession area. Defendant was informed he was under arrest. He was allowed to use the restroom, after which he was handcuffed in the hallway and escorted out of the building. During this time, the other officers questioned Mr. Blackman and determined that he had no outstanding arrest warrants. When questioned, Mr. Blackman said he did not know what was going on in the southeast corner of the concession area where noises had been heard. Deputy Sutterfield testified that he walked over to that corner because he was concerned there could be something of danger there, that he observed an icebox in the corner and then observed a black gun case on the south side of the icebox. See id. at 57-59. Deputy Sutterfield opened the gun case, which contained two firearms. Deputy...

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