USA v. James Manning
Per Curiam OPINION filed : AFFIRMED, decision not for publication. Alan E. Norris, Circuit Judge; David W. McKeague, Circuit Judge and Helene N. White, Circuit Judge.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 16a0332n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
JAMES FOREST MANNING,
Jun 17, 2016
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT FOR THE EASTERN
DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
BEFORE: NORRIS, McKEAGUE, and WHITE, Circuit Judges.
Officers arrived at defendant’s residence in response to a noise
complaint. In the parking area, they talked to an individual who admitted he was there to
purchase drugs and had done so before. The officers knocked on the front door and heard activity
inside, but nobody answered. They also smelled an odor consistent with the manufacture of
methamphetamine coming from the home and noticed multiple surveillance cameras on the
property. They walked around the residence to try to make contact through a back door, or to see
if anyone was trying to leave.
As they walked around the residence, they discovered a burn pile consistent with
methamphetamine manufacture. The officers testified that the odor became stronger as they
neared the back corner of the residence where they observed a window with an exhaust fan.
Both officers testified that at that point they believed they had enough evidence to obtain
a search warrant. To secure the scene while awaiting a search warrant, the officers disabled the
surveillance cameras by pointing them towards the ground. Based on the circumstances, the
United States v. Manning
officers feared that anyone inside the residence could have guns and use information from the
cameras to gain an advantage over the officers.
As one of the officers was dictating information for a search warrant, a female came out
of the residence visibly agitated and seeking aid for someone in the house who she feared had
overdosed on drugs. Officers entered the residence and found defendant lying on the floor,
slumped over and unresponsive. There was a handgun within a few feet of defendant, and when
the officers attempted to move him some pills fell to the floor. To ensure their safety, the officers
opened two doors near where they were helping defendant. One door led to a bedroom where an
officer observed paraphernalia consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine, including
bottles and tubing. The officers closed the doors, removed defendant from the residence and sent
him to the hospital in an emergency vehicle. The officers then waited outside until they could
secure a search warrant.
In the warrant request, the officers included all of the evidence discovered in front of the
residence, and the evidence discovered in plain view when they walked around the residence and
also when they went inside to render aid to defendant. The officers then searched the residence
pursuant to the warrant and recovered several firearms, video equipment, a pill believed to be
oxycodone, three active “one-step” methamphetamine labs, three notebooks with apparent drug
trafficking entries, and a small amount of cash.
Defendant was arrested when he was discharged from the hospital and charged with
(1) conspiring to
(2) manufacturing methamphetamine,
(3) possessing firearms after being convicted of a felony, and (4) using or carrying a firearm
during or in relation to a drug trafficking offense.
United States v. Manning
Defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence recovered from his residence, which
the district court denied. Defendant then pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture
methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 & 841(b) but reserved the right to file this
appeal challenging the denial of his motion to suppress.
“‘When reviewing the denial of a motion to suppress, we review the district court’s
findings of fact for clear error and its conclusions of law de novo, considering the evidence in the
light most favorable to the government.’” United States v. Noble, 762 F.3d 509, 519 (6th Cir.
2014) (quoting United States v. Richards, 659 F.3d 527, 536 (6th Cir. 2011)).
This appeal is grounded in the Fourth Amendment, which provides that “[t]he right of the
people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, an effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures shall not be violated and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by
Oath or affirmation, and particularity describing the place to be searched and persons or things to
be seized.” U.S. Const. amend. IV.
Defendant argues that several aspects of police conduct surrounding the search of his
residence violated the Fourth Amendment, including that (1) officers unlawfully manipulated the
surveillance cameras at the residence, (2) officers discovered evidence in an unlawful search of
the curtilage of defendant’s residence, (3) officers were not justified in entering his residence
without a warrant to administer medical aid to him, (4) officers were not justified in conducting a
protective sweep of the area around defendant as part of administering aid, and (5) the warrant
and its supporting affidavit contained evidence gathered as a result of the illegal searches, and
contained errors and omissions in violation of Kentucky law.
We have independently reviewed the record in detail, and we have carefully considered
the briefs submitted by the parties. Because the district court’s detailed analysis addresses each
United States v. Manning
of defendant’s arguments and we detect no error, a reasoned opinion by this court would serve
no useful purpose. We therefore affirm based upon the district court’s opinion. See United States
v. Manning, No. 13-20-GFVT, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22202 (E.D. Ky. Feb. 23, 2015).
The judgment is affirmed.
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