United States v. Houston, 010515 FED11, 14-11586

Docket Nº:14-11586
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SALATHIAN L. HOUSTON, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before WILSON, WILLIAM PRYOR and BLACK, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:January 05, 2015
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

SALATHIAN L. HOUSTON, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 14-11586

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

January 5, 2015

DO NOT PUBLISH

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida D.C. Docket No. 3:13-cr-00099-MCR-1.

Before WILSON, WILLIAM PRYOR and BLACK, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM.

Salathian Houston appeals his conviction for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2). Houston challenges the denial of his motion to suppress the firearm, which was discovered inside a glove compartment of a vehicle in which he was a passenger. The district court ruled that Houston lacked standing to challenge the search of the vehicle and he was never seized by law enforcement, and the district court ruled alternatively that there was no casual connection between the alleged seizure and discovery of the firearms. We affirm.

On denial of a motion to suppress, we review findings of fact for clear error and the application of law to those facts de novo. United States v. Spoerke, 568 F.3d 1236, 1244 (11th Cir. 2009). We construe all facts in the light most favorable to the government. Id.

Houston lacked standing to challenge the search of the vehicle where the firearm was found. Tonyetta Gaston claimed to own the vehicle, a Ford Expedition, and it was registered to Anthony and Gloria Gaston. See Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 134, 99 S.Ct. 421, 425 (1978); United States v. Lee, 586 F.3d 859, 864–65 (11th Cir. 2009). Houston was a passenger in the Expedition, but it was not searched following a traffic stop, which Houston could have had standing to challenge. See Brendlin v. California, 551 U.S. 249, 255–58, 127 S.Ct. 2400, 2405–07 (2007). As Houston acknowledges in his brief, "it is undisputed [that Deputy Joshua Hendershott approached] the Expedition vehicle [while it] was lawfully parked with the engine running."

Houston's encounter with law enforcement was consensual and did not trigger scrutiny under the Fourth Amendment. Hendershott did not "exert a show of authority that [would have] communicate[d] to [Houston] that his liberty [was] restrained" while he was sitting in the front passenger's seat of the Expedition. See United States v. Baker, 290 F.3d 1276, 1278 (11th Cir. 2002). Hendershott and the second officer on the scene, Deputy...

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