835 F.3d 833 (8th Cir. 2016), 15-3697, United States v. Arnold

Docket Nº:15-3697
Citation:835 F.3d 833
Opinion Judge:Roseann A. Ketchmark, District Judge.
Party Name:United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee v. Cameron Arnold, Defendant - Appellant
Attorney:For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Jana K. Harris, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Erin Siobhan O'Leary, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR. Cameron Zayrell Arnold, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Pine Knot, KY. For Cameron Zayr...
Judge Panel:Before SMITH and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges, and KETCHMARK,[1] District Judge.
Case Date:August 31, 2016
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 833

835 F.3d 833 (8th Cir. 2016)

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Cameron Arnold, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 15-3697

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 31, 2016

Submitted: June 14, 2016

Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied October 5, 2016

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas-Little Rock

Steven R. Davis, North Little Rock, AR, for appellant.

Jana K. Harris, Erin O’ Leary, Asst. U.S. Attys., Little Rock, AR (Christopher R. Thyer, U.S. Atty., on the brief), for appellee.

Before SMITH and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges, and KETCHMARK, 1 District Judge.

OPINION

KETCHMARK, District Judge.

Following a jury trial, Cameron Arnold was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank robberies and three counts of aiding and abetting the robbery of those banks. Arnold now appeals the district court’s 2 denial of his motion to suppress, ruling on his Batson challenges, and imposition of his sentence. 3 We affirm.

I.

On March 24, 2014, an Iberia Bank branch in Little Rock, Arkansas, was robbed. Detective Bobby Martin in the robbery unit with the Little Rock Police Department testified that Devonta Piggee was developed as a suspect and was arrested for the armed bank robbery. Piggee gave a statement to police that the person involved with him was from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and named “ Cam.” As a part of the Iberia Bank robbery investigation, a detective from the Pine Bluff Police Department was contacted, and he identified “ Cam” as Arnold. Seven weeks later, on May 13, 2014, a U.S. Bank in Little Rock was robbed. At this point, the Little Rock Police Department began investigating Keyontae Johnson as a suspect. Officers were aware that Piggee, Johnson, and Arnold were all from Pine Bluff.

Two days after the armed robbery of the U.S. Bank, on May 15, 2014, Detective Martin received an anonymous telephone call. The caller told Detective Martin that Johnson was leaving Pine Bluff, and headed toward Little Rock to commit another bank robbery. The caller stated that Johnson was driving a gray Ford Taurus with a temporary license plate from Dane’s Auto Sales. Detective Martin then alerted his squad to this information. Later that day, Detective Martin learned that there had been an armed robbery of a bank in Benton, Arkansas. When Detective Martin notified the Benton Police Department about the anonymous tip, the department confirmed that a gray Ford Taurus had been involved in the armed robbery that morning.

Based on the determination that Johnson probably was involved in the armed robbery and would be returning to Pine Bluff, Little Rock Police Officers searched for the gray Taurus by traveling south on Interstate 530 from Little Rock toward Pine Bluff. Little Rock Police Detective Carrie Mauldin, in an unmarked patrol unit, located the gray Taurus at approximately mile marker 22 of Interstate 530. At this point, Little Rock Detective Grant Humphries, who was also in an unmarked patrol unit, joined Detective Mauldin. The two officers then followed the vehicle as it exited the interstate at mile marker 34. At the same time, law enforcement officers in marked patrol units from other agencies in that vicinity also joined to assist. After exiting Interstate 530 and taking two left turns, the gray Taurus was stopped by a roadblock of marked patrol cars. As it turned out, the roadblock stopped two cars. The other car stopped was a black Honda that had been traveling in front of the gray Taurus.

When Detective Martin arrived on the scene a few minutes after the stop, Johnson had been placed in the back of a patrol car. Detective Martin approached Johnson to verify that the individual in the patrol car matched the photograph he had obtained in the U.S. Bank robbery investigation. When Detective Martin looked into the patrol car, Johnson said something to the effect that the car ahead was involved. The black Honda contained two occupants, a female driver and Arnold, who was seated as a passenger. As part of the Iberia Bank robbery investigation, in which Arnold was identified as “ Cam,” Detective Martin was aware that there was an outstanding warrant for Arnold’s arrest. After Arnold provided identification, he and the female driver were taken into custody. Arnold’s vehicle was stopped only five or six minutes before he was identified as a suspect in the Benton bank robbery that had just occurred. All three individuals that had been stopped by the roadblock were then transported to the Little Rock Police Department. Once at the police station, officers discovered that the female driver had more than $3,200 on her person. 4

On September 11, 2014, a grand jury charged Arnold in a four-count indictment with conspiracy to commit bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Count 1); and three counts of aiding and abetting the robbery of a federally insured bank, for the March 24, May 13, and May 15 bank robberies, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) and (d) (Counts 2, 3, and 4). Along with Arnold, Piggee was indicted in Counts 1 and 2, and Johnson was indicted in Counts 1, 3, and 4. Piggee and Johnson each pleaded guilty and were eventually sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment, three years supervised release, and payment of restitution in the amounts of $4,907 for Johnson and $7,694 for Piggee. After the indictment, Arnold filed a motion to suppress the cash [5] and his statement obtained as a result of the May 15, 2014 vehicle stop. The district court denied the motion following an evidentiary hearing at which the district court heard testimony from three government witnesses: Detectives Martin, Mauldin, and Humphries. In a two-day jury trial beginning on June 22, 2015, the jury found Arnold guilty on all counts. Piggee and Johnson testified at Arnold’s trial. The district court later sentenced Arnold to an aggregate term of 210 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release, and payment of $12,601 in restitution.

II.

Arnold presents three challenges on appeal. First, he argues that the initial stop violated his Fourth Amendment rights because officers lacked probable cause or reasonable suspicion to make the stop. Second, he argues that the district court erred in overruling his challenge to several of the government’s peremptory strikes under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 106 S.Ct. 1712, 90 L.Ed.2d 69 (1986). Finally, Arnold maintains that his sentence is substantively unreasonable in comparison with the sentences imposed on his co-defendants.

A. Motion to Suppress

Arnold argues that the stop of the vehicle in which he was a passenger was unlawful because the justification for it rested solely on an anonymous telephone call and there was no indication that the caller was reliable. 6 In an appeal challenging the denial of a motion to suppress, we review the district court’s factual findings for clear error and its legal conclusions de novo. United States v. Burston, 806 F.3d 1123, 1126 (8th Cir. 2015) (citation omitted).

To support his contention that the initial vehicle stop was unlawful, Arnold cites Supreme Court cases, Alabama v. White, 496 U.S. 325, 327-29, 110 S.Ct. 2412, 110 L.Ed.2d 301 (1990) and Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266, 270, 120 S.Ct. 1375, 146 L.Ed.2d 254 (2000), for the proposition that a stand-alone anonymous tip must possess sufficient indicia of reliability to justify an investigatory stop. It is well settled under Terry that an investigatory stop is permissible under the Fourth Amendment if supported...

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