United States v. Parks, 083018 FED8, 17-1914

Docket Nº:17-1914
Party Name:United States of America Plaintiff- Appellee v. Kyle Maurice Parks Defendant-Appellant
Judge Panel:Before SMITH, Chief Judge, WOLLMAN and LOKEN, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:August 30, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction of one count of transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution; two counts of attempted transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution; and six counts of transportation of an individual with intent to engage in prostitution. The court held that the search of defendant's van was warranted under the community-caretaker exception where... (see full summary)


United States of America Plaintiff- Appellee


Kyle Maurice Parks Defendant-Appellant

No. 17-1914

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 30, 2018

Submitted: April 12, 2018

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis

Before SMITH, Chief Judge, WOLLMAN and LOKEN, Circuit Judges.


A jury found Kyle Maurice Parks guilty of one count of transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a)(1) and (b)(2); two counts of attempted transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591(a)(1), (b)(2), and 1594(a); and six counts of transportation of an individual with intent to engage in prostitution in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2421(a). Parks appeals from the denial of his motion to suppress evidence. He also argues that the district court[1] erred in admitting certain evidence and in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal on two of the counts. We affirm.

I. Background

Detective Mark Young, a Columbus, Ohio, police officer assigned to the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, received information on December 2, 2015, that seventeen-year-old T.S. had run away from an Ohio juvenile residential facility. The next day, T.S.'s mother called Young, saying that T.S. had contacted her and said that she was on her way to Florida with at least two other individuals. Believing that T.S. was in trouble, Young requested an emergency cell phone ping to determine her location. The ping showed that T.S.'s cell phone was located near the vicinity of a Red Roof Inn in St. Charles, Missouri.

Detective Young asked the St. Charles Police Department to dispatch officers to the Red Roof Inn to check for any vehicles with Ohio license plates. St. Charles police officers went to the hotel, where they located a gray van bearing temporary Ohio license tags that revealed that the vehicle was registered to Parks. Upon being provided this information, Young responded that he was familiar with Parks and that T.S. was likely with him.

In response to their inquiries, a hotel employee told the officers that there were two young women, R.W. and K.O., from Columbus, Ohio, who currently had rooms at the hotel. The officers first went to nineteen-year-old R.W.'s room. They knocked on the door, R.W. answered, and they informed her that they were looking for T.S. Although T.S. was not in R.W.'s room, the officers noticed another young woman, seventeen-year-old T.M., there. Officers then went to twenty-four-year-old K.O.'s room, where they located T.S. and a fifteen-year-old girl, L.L. R.W. and K.O. consented to the searches of the hotel rooms, in which officers found stained and soiled linens, drug paraphernalia, feminine hygiene products, prepaid gift cards, packages of condoms, used condoms, male clothing, items bearing Parks's name, and an Ohio municipal court document citing K.O. for prostitution. Officers also obtained a Red Roof Inn surveillance video that showed R.W., K.O., and Parks together at the check-in counter.

Police transported the five young women to a locked juvenile facility in St. Charles, where they were interviewed by law enforcement. K.O. and T.S. both told the officers that they had committed acts of prostitution while at the Red Roof Inn and that they had given the money that they had earned to Parks. K.O. also stated that she had previously worked as a prostitute for Parks in Ohio.

Officers then discovered that Parks, his van, and seventeen-year-old S.L. were missing. The next morning's shift officers were briefed on Parks and the incident at the Red Roof Inn. An email was sent out within the department, informing officers that they needed to be on the lookout for Parks and his vehicle. The email also included a photo of Parks.

Later that morning, Parks walked into the St. Charles County police headquarters and approached a police services officer who was working at the lobby desk. Parks gave the officer his name, said that he was from Ohio, and that he was there to bail out a female friend. The services officer recognized Parks and notified Officer Paul Yadlosky and Detective Stephanie Kaiser. When Officer Yadlosky arrived in the lobby, Parks walked towards the door and looked out at his van. When Detective Kaiser arrived, she noticed a gray van matching the email's description in the parking lot.

Knowing that there was a missing girl who had last been seen with Parks and that the gray van was registered to Parks, Officer Yadlosky and Detective Kaiser decided to go out to the van to look for the girl. Detective Kaiser peered in the window and saw an older girl lying in the middle row of seats, wrapped in a blanket. Because the girl's face was covered, it was difficult to determine her condition. The girl did not respond when the officers rapped on the van's window. Officer Yadlosky then opened the van door, at which point the woman responded in a "sluggish and slow" manner. Officer Yadlosky testified that he could smell marijuana upon opening the van door and that he noticed a bag of marijuana on the floor of the van when the girl sat up. Officer Yadlosky seized the marijuana. The girl was later identified as missing seventeen-year-old S.L.

Officer Yadlosky quickly searched the van to ensure that no one else was inside. In doing so, Officer Yadlosky noticed cell phones, clothing, and condoms. Because of the van's cluttered condition, Officer Yadlosky requested that a K-9 officer conduct a search for any hidden narcotics. The drug dog alerted to the driver's side passenger door. Law enforcement officers thereafter conducted a full search of the van and seized sales receipts for prepaid gift cards, a receipt containing a Backpage.com (Backpage) email address, prepaid phone gift cards, eighty-eight condoms, and three cell phones.

Law enforcement officers later executed a search warrant for Parks's Ohio office suite, which contained several rooms, including multiple bedrooms and a lounge area. One of the bedrooms contained a mattress, soiled bedding, and drug paraphernalia. In the lounge area, officers...

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