United States v. Sands, 110415 FED7, 14-3409

Docket Nº:14-3409
Opinion Judge:Bauer, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Ottriez Sands, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before Wood, Chief Judge, and Bauer and Easterbrook, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:November 04, 2015
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Ottriez Sands, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 14-3409

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

November 4, 2015

Argued September 25, 2015

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 13 cr 295 Amy J. St. Eve, Judge.

Before Wood, Chief Judge, and Bauer and Easterbrook, Circuit Judges.

Bauer, Circuit Judge.

Defendant-appellant, Ottriez Sands (?Sands"), was found guilty by a jury of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Sands appeals the district court's order denying his motion to quash his arrest and suppress the evidence derived therefrom. He claims the search and seizure violated his Fourth Amendment rights. Sands also argues that the district court erred in prohibiting him from making a particular argument to the jury during closing argument. We agree with the district court's rulings and affirm its judgment.


In January 2012, Officer Perry Williams of the Chicago Police Department received information from a registered confidential informant that an individual whom the informant personally knew was selling narcotics out of a gold-colored car. On February 3, 2012, the informant told Officer Williams that the suspect was actively selling narcotics out of a gold-colored Toyota Camry with tinted windows in the area of 71st and Paxton. The informant gave Officer Williams the license plate number of the Camry and a physical description of the suspect.

Based on that information, Officer Williams drove to the area of 71st and Paxton and saw Sands seated in the driver's seat of a gold-colored Toyota Camry parked at 7102 South Paxton. Officer Williams parked his car about 30 feet away from the Camry on the south side of 71st Street and facing in the opposite direction of the Camry to conduct surveillance. From his position, Officer Williams turned around and looked over his shoulder to see the Camry and observe Sands.

While Officer Williams was conducting surveillance, Chicago Police Department Officers Kevin Kilroy, Matthew Darling, and Nathan Gadzik were nearby in a second vehicle. Their enforcement vehicle was parked in an area away from 71st and Paxton, out of sight of Sands's Camry. They were an enforcement team ready to perform an investigation or an arrest as needed by Officer Williams. The officers in the enforcement vehicle could not see Sands's Camry and were not conducting surveillance of it.

About fifteen minutes later, Officer Williams saw Sands engage in a hand-to-hand transaction through the driver's side window of the Camry with another individual, later identified by police as Katon Hunter. Based on his training and experience, Officer Williams believed the hand-to-hand transaction was a narcotics transaction. He informed the enforcement officers via radio that a narcotics transaction had occurred and ordered them to arrest Sands. After receiving this information from Officer Williams, Officer Kilroy drove the enforcement vehicle from its hidden location down Paxton, against one-way traffic, and parked the enforcement vehicle at an angle to, and approximately two or three feet from, the front bumper of the Camry. Officer Kilroy saw Sands sitting in the driver's seat of the Camry.

Officer Kilroy testified that he saw Katon Hunter get out of the Camry from the front passenger seat and run into the nearby Family Dollar store. Officer Darling testified that as they drove toward the Camry, he saw a person standing outside the passenger side of the Camry, who also went into the Family Dollar store.

All three officers left the enforcement vehicle; Officer Gadzik pursued Katon Hunter into the Family Dollar store, Officer Darling walked over to a red Monte Carlo parked in the area as a safety precaution, and Officer Kilroy approached the Camry. As he was walking towards the Camry, Officer Kilroy saw Sands through the Camry windshield holding a firearm in his right hand. He then saw Sands move the firearm to the open center console. Officer Kilroy drew his firearm and ordered Sands to get out of the Camry. Sands did not immediately comply, and Officer Kilroy had to open the car door and remove Sands from the vehicle. Officer Kilroy patted Sands down to ensure that he had no weapons...

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