US v. Arniel Carlton
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 4:15-cr-00031-AWA-DEM-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-4516]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
ARNIEL LAMONT CARLTON,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia, at Newport News. Arenda L. Wright Allen,
District Judge. (4:15-cr-00031-AWA-DEM-1)
March 21, 2017
Before WILKINSON and
Senior Circuit Judge.
March 29, 2017
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Scott W. Putney, SCOTT W. PUTNEY, P.C., Norfolk, Virginia, for
Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney, Amy E.
Cross, Assistant United States Attorney, Newport News, Virginia,
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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imprisonment upon entering a conditional guilty plea to being a
felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 922(g)(1) (2012).
Carlton reserved the right to appeal the
obtained in a warrantless entry into and search of his home by
police and Carlton’s subsequent statements.
On appeal, Carlton
circumstances did not justify the warrantless entry and search,
and that any statements attributable to him were tainted by the
When considering the denial of a motion to suppress, “[w]e
Palmer, 820 F.3d 640, 648 (4th Cir. 2016).
“Absent clear error,
we will not disturb factual findings made by a district court
Because the Government prevailed on the suppression issue below,
“Searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are
Kentucky v. King, 563 U.S. 452,
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circumstances may justify warrantless entry.
Id. at 460.
reasonable suspicion that such circumstances exist at the time
of the search or seizure in question.”
Figg v. Schroeder, 312
“[C]ourts should not engage in unreasonable second-
guessing of the officers’ assessment of the circumstances that
Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
protective sweep include concern for officer safety and the need
safety, . . . the protection of police officers is of particular
States v. Watson, 703 F.3d 684, 693 (4th Cir. 2013).
officers need to be assured that the persons with whom they are
dealing are not armed with, or able to gain immediate control
of, a weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against
Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
to evidence preservation, officers may enter without a warrant
where they “reasonably believe that evidence may be destroyed or
removed before they could obtain a warrant.”
United States v.
Moses, 540 F.3d 263, 270 (4th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation
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In determining whether exigent circumstances
exist, a court should consider:
(1) the degree of urgency involved and the amount of
time necessary to obtain a warrant; (2) the officers’
reasonable belief that the contraband is about to be
removed or destroyed; (3) the possibility of danger to
police guarding the site; (4) information indicating
the possessors of the
contraband are aware that the
destructibility of the contraband.
(internal quotation marks omitted).
The inquiry focuses on the
officers’ reasonable belief rather than “concrete proof” of the
Here, the officers had probable cause at the time of their
entry into Carlton’s home.
Although the underlying offense of
brandishing a firearm is a misdemeanor under Virginia law, Va.
“violence or threats of it,” Welsh v. Wisconsin, 466 U.S. 744,
We conclude that Carlton has shown no error in the district
protective sweep, and seizure of the shotgun.
concerns for safety and evidence preservation were objectively
reasonable under the circumstances.
See Moses, 540 F.3d at 270.
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Consideration of the Yengel factors confirms the existence of
Additionally, contrary to Carlton’s argument, the record reveals
that the exigencies were not officer-created.
See King, 563
exception where officers manufactured exigency).
did not engage or threaten to engage in conduct violative of the
Fourth Amendment, id. at 462, and “[f]aulting the police for
failing to apply for a search warrant at the earliest possible
nowhere to be found in the Constitution,” id. at 467.
the officers took only a quick look around Carlton’s home to
intrusion for officer safety purposes that did not offend the
See Maryland v. Buie, 494 U.S. 325, 336-37
(1990); Watson, 703 F.3d at 693.
attributable to Carlton were not “fruit of the poisonous tree.”
Moreover, Carlton admitted that he was apprised of his Miranda
rights before he made the inculpatory statements, and that he
Carlton’s suppression motion was proper in all regards.
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Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s judgment.
this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
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