8 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. 1993), 92-2710, United States v. Foxworth

Docket Nº:92-2710.
Citation:8 F.3d 540
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Mitchell FOXWORTH, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:October 27, 1993
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 540

8 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. 1993)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Mitchell FOXWORTH, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 92-2710.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

October 27, 1993

Argued March 31, 1993.

Page 541

Lawrence Beaumont (argued), Office of the U.S. Atty., Danville, IL, for plaintiff-appellee.

Brian Silverman (argued), Champaign, IL and Kevin E. Milner, Law Offices of Kevin E. Milner, Chicago, IL, for defendant-appellant.

Before CUDAHY, MANION and TIMBERS, [*] Circuit Judges.

MANION, Circuit Judge.

The United States of America ("government") charged Mitchell Foxworth under 21 U.S.C. § 841 with one count of possessing 489 grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute. Foxworth moved to suppress the cocaine. The district court denied the motion. Foxworth pleaded guilty, reserving the right to appeal the district court's denial of his motion. We affirm the district court in all respects.

I. Background

Before Foxworth's arrest, the police had been investigating him sporadically over two years. The week before his arrest, the investigation intensified. On January 2, 1992, Scott Swan and John Murphy, both Champaign, Illinois police officers, went to the Super 8 Motel in Champaign. They had received information that two cars (a gray Chevrolet and a blue Monte Carlo) located in the parking lot contained cocaine. After observing the two cars, the officers secured a search warrant for a residence in Urbana, Illinois. (The connection between the two cars and the residence is not clear from the record.) During their search of the residence, they uncovered four ounces of crack cocaine. At the search scene, they separately interviewed Alvin Ervin and Kevin Cooper, both of whom described how they had

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purchased cocaine from Foxworth at the Super 8 Motel in Champaign. After agreeing on a price, Foxworth sent an associate from the motel room to a car in the parking lot to obtain the drugs from the trunk. They described Foxworth as being "really cautious" in his drug transactions.

On January 5, 1992, Officer Swan received a call from the desk clerk of the Thrift Hotel in Urbana. The desk clerk informed Swan about suspicious activity occurring in a room rented to someone the police knew as one of Foxworth's associates. Officer Swan and a few other officers placed the Thrift Hotel under surveillance. They saw Foxworth drive away from the hotel. Later, Swan observed a man go from the hotel room to a blue Monte Carlo and place something in its trunk. The blue Monte Carlo was parked next to a gray Chevrolet; the cars were the same ones parked at the Super 8 Motel in Champaign on January 2. The police obtained a search warrant for the Monte Carlo, in which they found three ounces of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

On January 8, 1992, the day of Foxworth's arrest, Cray Butler, a reliable police informant, telephoned Officer Swan from a room in the Motel 6 in Kankakee, Illinois. Foxworth was to arrive later that day to make a drug deal with another person. Butler told Swan that the same gray Chevrolet was in the parking lot with a quarter kilogram of cocaine in the trunk. Swan and approximately nine other officers arrived at the Motel 6 and placed it under surveillance. Swan then telephoned Butler who gave a detailed description of the anticipated drug transaction and procedure. Butler said the drugs were still in the gray Chevrolet. Butler told Swan that after Foxworth completed negotiating a price with his buyer, Foxworth would drive to the motel in a yellow Cadillac with out-of-state license plates. Foxworth would send one of his associates to the trunk of the gray car to get the cocaine and bring it back to the room. In the room, Foxworth and his associates would bag the cocaine into smaller amounts. The cocaine would either remain in the room or be returned to the gray Chevrolet.

A short time later, Swan and the officers noticed a yellow Cadillac with Arizona plates arrive at the motel. Foxworth and two others exited the car and went into the motel room occupied by Butler. Shortly thereafter, a man left the room, went to the gray Chevrolet, got something from its trunk, and returned to the room. Another man later came out of the room and placed something into the trunk of the gray car. Two men in a black Ford Mustang then arrived at the motel parking lot and went into the room occupied by Foxworth and the others. One of Foxworth's associates left the room and opened the hood of the yellow Cadillac.

Several minutes...

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