United States v. Thompson, 112410 FED10, 09-6181

Docket Nº:09-6181
Opinion Judge:Christine M. Arguello, District Judge.
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ANTONIO DJUAN THOMPSON, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before GORSUCH, EBEL, Circuit Judges, and ARGUELLO District Judge.
Case Date:November 24, 2010
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

ANTONIO DJUAN THOMPSON, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 09-6181

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

November 24, 2010

D.C. No. 5:08-CR-00166-D-1, W.D. Okla.

Before GORSUCH, EBEL, Circuit Judges, and ARGUELLO, [**] District Judge.

ORDER AND JUDGMENT[*]

Christine M. Arguello, District Judge.

On April 4, 2008, officers from the Oklahoma City Police Department entered the home of Letitia Harris to execute an arrest warrant on Defendant-Appellant Antonio Djuan Thompson for a charge unrelated to this case. There they found not only Thompson, but also, a gun, ammunition, and marijuana.

That evidence formed the basis for the indictment in this case. Thompson was charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition after conviction of a felony (count I) and possession of marijuana (count II). 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1); 21 U.S.C. § 844(a). He was convicted after a bench trial and sentenced to 235 months' imprisonment.

On appeal, Thompson challenges the district court's denial of his motion to suppress. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and affirm.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are taken from the district court's findings, as gleaned from evidence submitted during the suppression hearing. Given the posture, we view these facts in light most favorable to the government. United States v. Colonna, 360 F.3d 1169, 1173 (10th Cir. 2004).

During the relevant period, February to April 2008, Sgt. Kenneth Rambo was the Intelligence Led Policing (ILP) Officer with the Oklahoma City Police Department. In that position, he was responsible for conveying information to patrol officers regarding suspects. On February 14, 2008, he wrote an email in which he notified officers that Thompson was one of three suspects in an ongoing robbery investigation. Thompson was identified by name and birth date, and was said to be a member of the Neighborhood Nineties street gang. The email also stated that Thompson was "possibly staying with his girlfriend (Letitia Harris) at 4619 Creek Court."

Sgt. Matthew McRorie was one of the officers who read this email. Upon reading it, Sgt. McRorie tried to locate Thompson. He followed his usual practice of reviewing police department files and printing off a record of Thompson's known addresses, employers, and known associates. This revealed that Thompson listed his home address as 2213 N. Kelham Avenue. Sgt. McRorie, however, doubted Thompson actually lived there. In his experience as a gang unit officer, during police contacts gang members often provide a relative's address rather than their true residence addresses. Sgt. McRorie was familiar with Thompson and Thompson's relatives because of their prior arrests. He knew Thompson was a member of the Neighborhood Nineties street gang. He was also familiar with the Kelham address – he believed it was the residence of one of Thompson's relatives. He believed this because relatives of Thompson had also listed that address as theirs and, moreover, he had never seen Thompson at that address. After receiving the February email, Sgt. McRorie drove by the Kelham address several times, but did not see Thompson.

On April 3, 2008, an Oklahoma state judge issued an arrest warrant for Thompson. The warrant listed 2213 N. Kelham Avenue as Thompson's address.

The same day the warrant was issued, Sgt. McRorie again attempted to locate Thompson. He talked with several known associates of Thompson. He asked them if they knew Thompson and where he could be found. At least two of these associates told Sgt. McRorie that Thompson was living with his girlfriend. They also told Sgt. McRorie they had seen Thompson in a vehicle described as a green Escalade or Tahoe. Sgt. McRorie did not recall the names of these associates. Nevertheless, he considered the information reliable because it was separately provided by more than one person on the same day. He also reviewed a January 2008 arrest record in which Thompson was arrested for driving with a suspended license; the record reflected that Thompson contacted his girlfriend, Letitia Harris, to pick up his car so it would not be impounded. Finally, he checked public records regarding utilities in an attempt to verify Ms. Harris's address. The records showed that Ms. Harris resided at 4619 Creek Court in Oklahoma City.

During the night of April 3 and into the early morning hours of April 4, Sgt. McRorie drove by the Creek Court residence several times. Each time, he saw a green Escalade parked at the residence. The Escalade bore a paper tag with the name "Harris."

Sgt. McRorie did not attempt to execute the arrest warrant. He knew Thompson was accused of a violent crime; thus, he wanted backup officers to help, which he could not secure at the time.

Instead, Sgt. McRorie reported to Sgt. Rambo and Sgt. David Roberts what he knew. He told them what Thompson's associates had told him – that Thompson was driving a green Escalade or Tahoe and that Thompson was staying with his girlfriend. He told them he had identified Letitia Harris as Thompson's girlfriend, and that he verified her address as 4619 Creek Court. Finally, Sgt. McRorie told Sgt. Rambo and Sgt. Roberts that he had driven by the Creek Court address several times throughout his shift on April 3 and the morning of April 4; each time he had observed a green Escalade parked there.

Sgt. Rambo had already conducted his own investigation regarding Thompson. Like Sgt. McRorie, he had checked the police records and learned that, when arrested in January of 2008, Thompson had contacted his girlfriend, Letitia Harris, to pick up his vehicle. He also checked other records and confirmed that Letitia Harris resided at 4619 Creek Court.

Based on the information provided by Sgt. McRorie and the information he had previously obtained, Sgt...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP