United States v. Pendleton, 070618 FED8, 17-1527

Docket Nº:17-1527
Opinion Judge:COLLOTON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Party Name:United States of America, Plaintiff- Appellee, v. Jeffrey Joseph Pendleton, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before SMITH, Chief Judge, MURPHY and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:July 06, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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United States of America, Plaintiff- Appellee,

v.

Jeffrey Joseph Pendleton, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 17-1527

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 6, 2018

          Submitted: February 16, 2018

          Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - St. Paul

          Before SMITH, Chief Judge, MURPHY and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges. [*]

          COLLOTON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         A jury convicted Jeffrey Pendleton of unlawful possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon. The district court1 imposed a 15-year prison sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). On appeal, Pendleton disputes an evidentiary ruling at trial and challenges the determination that he qualifies as an armed career criminal under the sentencing statute. We conclude that there was no reversible error, and we therefore affirm.

         I.

         In March 2015, Pendleton was living in the basement of his nephew's home on the Lower Sioux Indian Reservation near Morton, Minnesota. On March 17, Penny Arredondo reported to law enforcement that she had observed Pendleton carrying a handgun at the nephew's residence. Three days later, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the house.

         Officers entered the home and located Pendleton in a basement bedroom, crouched near the bed. After arresting Pendleton, officers found a loaded black nine millimeter semiautomatic handgun under the bed, approximately two feet from where Pendleton had been crouching. Prescription pill bottles bearing Pendleton's name were lying on a dresser in the room. Inside the dresser, officers found shotgun shells, a nine millimeter round, and a .380 caliber round, as well as several pairs of blue jeans that matched Pendleton's physical characteristics. Upstairs, officers found more pill bottles labeled for Pendleton and a bag of nine millimeter ammunition. A forensic examination later confirmed that Pendleton's DNA was on the grip, slide, and magazine of the handgun.

         A grand jury charged Pendleton with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition as a previously convicted felon, both in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). The case proceeded to trial, and a jury found Pendleton guilty of possessing the firearm, but acquitted him of possessing ammunition. At sentencing, the district court concluded that Pendleton qualified as an armed career criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) and sentenced him to the statutory minimum term of...

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