United States v. Busey, 20-3397

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtCOLLOTON, Circuit Judge.
Citation11 F.4th 664
Parties UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Jackie L. BUSEY, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 20-3397,20-3397
Decision Date25 August 2021

11 F.4th 664

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Jackie L. BUSEY, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 20-3397

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

Submitted: May 14, 2021
Filed: August 25, 2021

Stephen C. Moss, Asst. Fed. Public Defender, Kansas City, MO, argued (Laine Cardarella, Fed. Public Defender, on the brief), for defendant-appellant.

Philip M. Koppe, Asst. U.S. Atty., Kansas City, MO, argued (Teresa J. Moore, Acting U.S. Atty., on the brief), for plaintiff-appellee.

Before COLLOTON, WOLLMAN, and KOBES, Circuit Judges.

COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

The district court1 revoked Jackie Busey's supervised release based on violations of conditions of release, and sentenced Busey to twenty-four months’ imprisonment. Busey appeals, arguing that the court deprived him of his right to confront a deputy marshal involved in the investigation of his violations. We affirm the judgment.

The violation at issue came during Busey's second tour on supervised release. He was convicted in 2014 of attempt to pass and possession of counterfeit obligations, see 18 U.S.C. § 472, served an eighteen-month term of imprisonment, and commenced a thirty-six month term of supervised release. In July 2017, the court revoked Busey's supervised release after he tested positive for narcotics five times and was twice arrested for possessing controlled substances. The court sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment followed by twenty-four months’ supervised release. He began this second term of supervised release in December 2017, and continued on release into 2020 despite some violations of his conditions.

In August 2020, however, the court issued a warrant for Busey's arrest after the probation office reported that Busey had traveled to unauthorized locations and possessed marijuana. Officers arrested Busey at his residence, and found a pistol, 20.7 grams of marijuana, 14.4 grams of MDMA (ecstasy), and 60.4 grams of an opioid substance. The probation office filed another report alleging that Busey possessed with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possessed a firearm.

At a hearing, Busey conceded that he traveled to unauthorized locations, but contested the other alleged violations. The evidence showed that Busey resided with his wife, Ebony Hicks, in a one-bedroom apartment rented to Hicks's brother, Robert Anderson. Probation officer Werning visited the apartment approximately ten times to check on Busey over the course of a year. She met with Anderson during the

11 F.4th 666

first home visit, and he agreed that Busey and Hicks could reside there. On all future visits, Anderson was not present.

Werning testified that she visited Busey's apartment on August 24, 2020, saw marijuana in the apartment, and witnessed Busey attempt to hide it. She also testified that after Busey's arrest on August 28, Deputy Marshal Thomas informed her that a firearm was found on the apartment's bedroom floor, and that drugs were thrown out of a window after officers entered the apartment.

Special Agent Miller of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives testified that he went to Busey's apartment on August 28 after Deputy Marshal Thomas told him that Busey had been arrested and that a firearm was found in plain view. Miller testified that after he arrived at the apartment, one of his colleagues found a loaded firearm on the floor of the bedroom. Miller seized the gun from the bedroom and found sixty grams of opioid substance on top of the kitchen cabinets. According to Miller, Hicks told him that Busey was leaving the bedroom just before he was arrested, and that the gun and drugs did not belong to her.

Busey objected to Miller's testimony recounting Thomas's statements on the ground that he had a right to confront Thomas. The government argued that calling Thomas was impractical because the arrest involved agents from "around the nation," and that Miller's testimony was reliable. The court overruled the objection, reasoning that Miller's testimony as an investigating officer was permissible. But on cross-examination, Miller testified that Thomas was a deputy marshal in Kansas City, the venue where the hearing was held. Busey renewed his objection to Miller's testimony about Thomas's statements, but the court overruled it again.

The court ultimately found that the government established a Grade A violation for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance based on "distribution level quantities" of opioid substance in the kitchen, a Grade B violation for possession of the gun, and Grade C violations for possession of a...

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2 cases
  • United States v. McArthur
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • August 25, 2021
  • United States v. Kincaid, 20-2646
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • November 15, 2021
    ......(quoting. Morrissey, 408 U.S. at 489). To determine whether. good cause exists, "[a] district court must balance the. interest in confrontation 'against the grounds asserted. by the government for not requiring confrontation.'". United States v. Busey, 11 F.4th 664, 666 (8th Cir. 2021) (quoting United States v. Bell, 785 F.2d 640,. 642 (8th Cir. 1986)). . . As. grounds for not requiring confrontation, the government. asserted only that K.M. did not bring C.S. to court to. testify. We have not ......

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