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United States v. Harper

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 29, 2015

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Nicholas Jacob Harper, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted January 12, 2015.

Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas - Fayetteville.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Allison Waldrip Bragg, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR; Dustin S. Roberts, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Arkansas, Fort Smith, AR.

Nicholas Jacob Harper, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Springfield, MO.

For Nicholas Jacob Harper, Defendant - Appellant: Nicholas Jacob Harper, Federal Public Defender's Office, Fayetteville, AR.

Before LOKEN, MURPHY, and MELLOY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 911

PER CURIAM.

Pursuant to a conditional plea agreement in which he preserved his right to appeal a suppression issue, Defendant Nicholas Jacob Harper pleaded guilty to one count of Receipt of Images of Child Pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 2252(a)(2) and (b)(1). He received a sentence of 121 months' imprisonment, 20 years' supervised release, and a $20,000 fine. He now appeals the suppression issue. In addition, he asserts a plain-error challenge to the fine. We affirm.

I.

Officers obtained a warrant to search a home in Arkansas where an identifiable internet connection and computer had been used to receive child pornography. Upon executing the warrant, officers did not discover the computer being sought. Officers, however, discovered that a wireless network for the home was unsecure and could be accessed from neighboring homes.

While on the property being searched, officers observed Harper leaving a neighboring home in a pick-up truck bearing Oklahoma license plates. Officers knew the computer being sought had been used in the vicinity of Owassa, Oklahoma, to download images of child pornography. Officers ran the plates and discovered Harper had an outstanding warrant for contempt.

Page 912

Officers also approached the home Harper had exited and talked to a woman at that home. The woman, Harper's girlfriend, stated she and Harper had recently moved to Arkansas from Owassa. Later, Harper returned to the neighborhood but did not return to the street where the ...


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