832 F.3d 948 (8th Cir. 2016), 15-3313, United States v. Camberos-Villapuda

Docket Nº:15-3313
Citation:832 F.3d 948
Opinion Judge:COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Luciano Camberos-Villapuda, also known as Benjamin Sicariros-Camboros, also known as Luciano Ortiz, also known as “ Mister”, “ Lucio”, Defendant-Appellant.
Attorney:Counsel who filed a brief and presented argument on behalf of the appellant was Cesar A. Juarez, of Sioux Falls, SD. Counsel who presented argument on behalf of the appellee was Dennis Ray Holmes, of Sioux Falls, SD. The following attorney also appeared on the appellee brief; John E. Haak, AUSA, ...
Judge Panel:Before RILEY, Chief Judge, COLLOTON and KELLY, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:August 12, 2016
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
SUMMARY

Defendant was convicted of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. On appeal, defendant challenged the denial of his motion to suppress physical evidence and imposition of a life sentence. The court concluded that the district court properly denied the motion to suppress where defendant was not seized and moved freely about the yard during the conversation in which he... (see full summary)

 
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Page 948

832 F.3d 948 (8th Cir. 2016)

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Luciano Camberos-Villapuda, also known as Benjamin Sicariros-Camboros, also known as Luciano Ortiz, also known as “ Mister”, “ Lucio”, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 15-3313

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 12, 2016

Submitted: May 19, 2016

Page 949

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of South Dakota— Sioux Falls

Counsel who filed a brief and presented argument on behalf of the appellant was Cesar A. Juarez, of Sioux Falls, SD.

Counsel who presented argument on behalf of the appellee was Dennis Ray Holmes, of Sioux Falls, SD. The following attorney also appeared on the appellee brief; John E. Haak, AUSA, of Sioux Falls, SD.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, COLLOTON and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

Luciano Camberos-Villapuda was charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. See 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846. Before trial, he moved to suppress evidence seized and statements he made during a search in Denver, Colorado. The district court 1 denied the motion as to the physical evidence, and a jury convicted Camberos. The court sentenced Camberos to life imprisonment, as mandated by 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A). Camberos appeals the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress and imposition of a life sentence. We affirm.

Page 950

I.

On May 30, 2013, police received a tip that an out-of-state vehicle would be delivering methamphetamine to a home near the intersection of East Alameda Avenue and South Holly Street in Denver. In response, Detectives Matthew Baughman and James Edinger of the Denver Police Department conducted surveillance of the area.

In the early morning hours of May 31, Baughman was walking in the neighborhood’s alleys. As he approached the home at 5620 East Alameda Avenue, Baughman heard grinding noises coming from the residence’s backyard. Through an opening large enough for a vehicle to pass through on the south side of the residence’s slatted fence, Baughman observed a man, later identified as Camberos, using a flashlight to work under a red Ford Expedition. The Expedition was parked on the east side of the residence and bore Nebraska license plates. Baughman was unsure when the vehicle had arrived to the residence.

After moving further down the alley, Baughman watched Camberos for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes through gaps in the fence’s east side. Baughman observed Camberos under the Expedition grinding on an area in the center of the passenger side of the vehicle. During that time, Baughman saw Camberos crawl out from underneath the Expedition, approach the opening in the fence, and peer down the alley. He also witnessed Camberos enter the home briefly and then return to work on the vehicle.

Based on his training and experience, Baughman was suspicious that Camberos was making a “ vehicle hide” — an alteration made to a vehicle’s frame, in which narcotics, weapons, and firearms can be hidden. After Baughman consulted Detective Edinger, the detectives requested assistance from uniformed officers. Three officers arrived, and together with Baughman, they walked onto the property through the large opening in the fence’s south side.

Camberos stopped working on the vehicle, and the uniformed officers contacted him near the rear of the Expedition. Camberos introduced himself as “ Benjamin Sicairos-Camberos” and, upon the officers’ request, produced his wallet and provided...

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