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United States v. Aguilar

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

February 26, 2014

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Manuel Maldonado Aguilar, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted January 17, 2014.

Page 1145

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Little Rock.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Anne E. Gardner, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Angela Sue Jegley, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Benecia Betton Moore, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR.

Manuel Maldonado Aguilar, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Big Spring, TX.

For Manuel Maldonado Aguilar, Defendant - Appellant: James Phillips, Little Rock, AR.

Before GRUENDER, BENTON, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1146

BENTON, Circuit Judge.

Manuel Maldonado Aguilar (Maldonado) appeals his conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A) and 846. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court remands.

I.

In August 2011, Arkansas police found meth inside the spare tire of Julio Rapan's Jeep Laredo. Rapan cooperated with law enforcement in a controlled delivery to Little Rock. There, Rapan met his contact in a Walgreens parking lot. (Maldonado drove the contact but remained in his car.) The contact entered the Jeep. Maldonado followed it to a restaurant. Rapan exited the Jeep, and the contact drove it to Maldonado's house. Maldonado followed.

Upon arrival, police arrested Maldonado and conducted a protective sweep of his house. He then signed a consent-to-search form. The search revealed $45,965 in cash, a.22-caliber revolver, scales with meth residue, and tools stuck between a tire and a rim.

Maldonado moved to exclude evidence from the search and to suppress statements to law enforcement. The district court denied the motion. A jury found Maldonado guilty. The district court sentenced him within-the-guidelines to 235 months' imprisonment. Maldonado appeals, contesting the search of his home, the sufficiency of the evidence, and the presence of an alternate juror during deliberations.

II.

Reviewing the denial of a motion to suppress, this court views factual findings for clear error and legal conclusions de novo. United States v. Anderson, 688 F.3d 339, 343 (8th Cir. 2012). This court " will affirm the district court's denial of a motion to suppress evidence unless it is unsupported by substantial evidence, ...


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