US v. Coletraine

Filing 920061127

Opinion

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 06-4038 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, versus DEONTAE RAYSHAUN COLETRAINE, Reshawn Coletrain, a/k/a Deonte Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Roanoke. Samuel G. Wilson, District Judge. (CR-05-49) Submitted: October 31, 2006 Decided: November 27, 2006 Before TRAXLER, GREGORY, and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Gary M. Bowman, Roanoke, Virginia, for Appellant. John L. Brownlee, United States Attorney, Edward A. Lustig, Assistant United States Attorney, Roanoke, Virginia, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. See Local Rule 36(c). PER CURIAM: Deontae Rayshaun Coletraine appeals his conviction and 33-month prison sentence pursuant to his conditional guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a user of marijuana, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g) (2000). Coletraine reserved the right to appeal the district court's order denying his motion to suppress a firearm recovered in a search of his person. We review factual findings underlying a district court's suppression determination for clear error and the district court's legal conclusions de novo. 873 (4th Cir. 1992). United States v. Rusher, 966 F.2d 868, When a suppression motion has been denied, we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government. United States v. Seidman, 156 F.3d 542, 547 (4th Cir. 1998). "[A]n officer may, consistent with the Fourth Amendment, conduct a brief, investigatory stop when the officer has a reasonable, articulable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot." Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119, 123 (2000) (citing Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)). To conduct a Terry stop, there must be "at least a minimal level of objective justification for making the stop." Wardlow, 528 U.S. at 123. Reasonable suspicion requires more than a hunch but less than probable cause and may be based on the collective knowledge of officers involved in an investigation. Id.; see also United States v. Hensley, 469 U.S. 221, 232 (1985). - 2 - In assessing police conduct in a Terry stop, courts must look to the totality of the circumstances. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 8 (1989). United States v. Officers conducting a lawful Terry stop may take steps reasonably necessary to protect their personal safety, check for identification, and maintain the status quo. Hensley, 469 U.S. at 229, 235; see also United States v. Moore, 817 F.2d 1105, 1108 (4th Cir. 1987) (brief but complete restriction of liberty is valid under Terry). We have reviewed the record, the district court's order, and the parties' in the briefs on appeal. favor, Viewing as we the conflicting the officer evidence Government's must, observed Coletraine, whom he knew from past dealings was involved in drug activity, in a high drug trafficking area. The officer knew that Coletraine did not live on the property, which was posted "No Trespassing." Moreover, the officer knew that Coletraine and the other individuals present were suspects in a recent shooting. When he saw the officers, Coletraine looked surprised and began to walk backwards. Given these facts, the officer had reasonable suspicion that crime was afoot. He was therefore entitled to conduct a limited frisk to ensure his own safety and that of the others present. During the patdown, the officer felt an object he Looking at the totality of the immediately knew to be a firearm. circumstances and viewing the evidence in the light most favorable - 3 - to the Government, we find that the gun was lawfully seized as part of a proper Terry stop-and-frisk. See United States v. Mayo, 361 F.3d 802, 805-08 (4th Cir. 2004); United States v. Raymond, 152 F.3d 309, 312 (4th Cir. 1998). Accordingly, the district court did not err in denying Coletraine's motion to suppress the firearm. Coletraine's conviction and sentence. Therefore, we affirm We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED - 4 -

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