904 F.3d 422 (6th Cir. 2018), 17-6334, United States v. Pyles

Docket Nº:17-6334, 17-6339
Citation:904 F.3d 422
Opinion Judge:SUTTON, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Joshua Kelley PYLES (17-6334); Jason Whitis (17-6339), Defendants-Appellants.
Attorney:Robert L. Abell, ROBERT ABELL LAW OFFICE, Lexington, Kentucky, for Appellant in 17-6334. Benjamin D. Allen, GESS MATTINGLY & ATCHISON, PSC, Lexington, Kentucky, for Appellant in 17-6339. Charles P. Wisdom, Jr., Lauren Tanner Bradley, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, Lexington, Kentucky, for Appel...
Judge Panel:Before: GIBBONS, SUTTON, and McKEAGUE, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:September 17, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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Page 422

904 F.3d 422 (6th Cir. 2018)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Joshua Kelley PYLES (17-6334); Jason Whitis (17-6339), Defendants-Appellants.

Nos. 17-6334, 17-6339

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

September 17, 2018

Page 423

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky at Lexington. No. 5:17-cr-00068— Joseph M. Hood, District Judge.

ON BRIEF:

Robert L. Abell, ROBERT ABELL LAW OFFICE, Lexington, Kentucky, for Appellant in 17-6334.

Benjamin D. Allen, GESS MATTINGLY & ATCHISON, PSC, Lexington, Kentucky, for Appellant in 17-6339.

Charles P. Wisdom, Jr., Lauren Tanner Bradley, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, Lexington, Kentucky, for Appellee.

Before: GIBBONS, SUTTON, and McKEAGUE, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

SUTTON, Circuit Judge.

Trooper Brad Ramsey pulled over a car after discovering that its registered owner had an outstanding arrest warrant. He and

Page 424

other officers found marijuana, methamphetamine, a firearm, and three passengers— but not the owner. The district court denied a motion by one of the occupants, Joshua Pyles, to suppress the evidence. A jury convicted Pyles of a drug and a firearm offense, and the two other occupants of the car, Jason and Robbie Whitis, pleaded guilty— Robbie to the drug and firearm offense and Jason to the drug offense. Two of the three men appealed. Pyles challenges the district court’s decision denying the motion to suppress, while Jason Whitis contests the procedural and substantive reasonableness of his 200-month sentence. We affirm.

I.

On April 26, 2017, Robbie Whitis, Jason Whitis, and Joshua Pyles drove from Somerset, Kentucky to Louisville to pick up methamphetamine and marijuana to distribute back in Somerset. On the way home, Brad Ramsey, a trooper with the Kentucky State Police, noticed their car traveling 63 miles per hour in a 70-miles-per-hour zone, amidst other vehicles going much faster. Ramsey followed the car and ran its license plate number through the Kentucky law enforcement database. The database revealed that the car’s owner, Angela Burdine, had an outstanding arrest warrant.

Ramsey stopped the vehicle. He approached the car on the rear passenger’s side and noticed Pyles stuffing something under a pile of clothes in the back seat. One of the occupants rolled down the window, and Ramsey smelled marijuana. Ramsey called for backup. Together, the officers searched the car and found a loaded .380 caliber handgun, a jar containing marijuana and marijuana cigarettes, a plastic bag containing marijuana, and a shoebox holding over 200 grams of methamphetamine. The officers took the three men into custody. A grand jury indicted all three on drug and firearm charges.

Pyles filed a motion to suppress the evidence. After holding a suppression hearing in which Trooper Ramsey testified, the court concluded that Ramsey had reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle based on the outstanding arrest warrant...

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