US v. Shawn Sadler

Filing 920090909

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 08-4743 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. SHAWN SADLER, a/k/a Tangulifu M. Barber, a/k/a Carlos Watts, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Columbia. Cameron McGowan Currie, District Judge. (3:04-cr-00330-CMC-5) Submitted: June 24, 2009 Decided: September 9, 2009 Before TRAXLER, Chief Judge, and WILKINSON and MICHAEL, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. William W. Watkins, Sr., Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellant. W. Walter Wilkins, United States Attorney, Nancy C. Wicker, Assistant United States Attorney, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: A jury convicted Shawn Sadler of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 846 (2006), and the district court sentenced Sadler to 240 months' imprisonment. On appeal, Sadler's counsel contends that the district court erred in denying the motion to suppress currency seized from the vehicle Sadler was driving and all other evidence, including Sadler's statements, obtained by law enforcement officers after the vehicle search. Finding no error, we affirm. We review the factual findings underlying the denial of a motion to suppress for clear error and the court's legal conclusions de novo. United States v. Branch, 537 F.3d 328, 337 The the (4th Cir. 2008), cert. denied, 129 S. Ct. 943 (2009). evidence is construed in the light most favorable to prevailing party below. 704 (4th Cir. 2006). United States v. Uzenski, 434 F.3d 690, "[T]he protections of the Fourth Amendment do not bear on every encounter between a police officer and a member of the public; it is only when a `search' or a `seizure' has occurred that the Fourth Amendment comes into play." United States v. McCoy, 513 F.3d 405, 411 (4th Cir.) (citation omitted), cert. denied, 128 S. Ct. 2492 (2008). Thus, when the deputy approached Sadler, identified himself, and inquired why Sadler 2 was in the neighborhood, a seizure had not yet occurred. id. ("If all that is involved is the officer See a approaching person, announcing that he is an officer, and asking if the person would be willing is to answer some questions, no then no has reasonable occurred." suspicion required because seizure (internal quotation marks and citation omitted)); see also Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 20 n.16 (1968) (stating a seizure implicating the Fourth Amendment does not occur until an "officer, by means of physical force or show of authority, has in some way restrained the liberty of" the individual). Moreover, "the police can stop and briefly detain a person for investigative suspicion `may purposes by if the officer facts officer has a reasonable criminal supported be articulable if the that lacks activity afoot,' even probable cause." United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 7 (1989) Based on the totality of the (quoting Terry, 392 U.S. at 30). circumstances, the deputy had a reasonable suspicion to continue his inquiry beyond the initial encounter with Sadler. See United States v. Perkins, 363 F.3d 317, 321 (4th Cir. 2004) (considering the totality of the circumstances, "giv[ing] due weight to common sense judgments reached by officers in light of their experience and training" in assessing Terry stop). Finally, the search was proper as Sadler voluntarily gave his consent. See Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 3 412 U.S. 218, 219 (1973) ("[O]ne of the specifically established exceptions to the requirements of both a warrant and probable cause is a search that is conducted the pursuant court to consent."). denied Therefore, the motion we to conclude suppress. district properly Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court. brief. legal before We deny Sadler's motion to file a pro se supplemental We dispense with oral argument because the facts and contentions the court are and adequately argument presented not in aid the the materials decisional would process. AFFIRMED 4

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