United States v. Jones, No. 21-1293 (7th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Allen County Officers received an arrest warrant for Gosnell. An anonymous tip indicated that Gosnell was staying at a Fort Wayne motel. The motel manager stated that Gosnell was staying in a room with Jones. Jones had arrests dating back to the 1990s and was listed as a “known resister,” “convicted felon,” and “substance abuser.” At the room, the officers knocked and called out Jones’s street name, stating: “It’s police. We’re not here for you.” Jones said, “She’s not here.” The officers asked Jones to open the door. He requested some time. Both officers estimate that 30-60 seconds elapsed between the first knock and when Jones opened the door. In conversational tones, they reiterated that they were not there for Jones, showed him the warrant, and explained that they would like to “verify” Gosnell was not there. Jones eventually said, “fine,” and moved away from the door. The officers lifted the beds and found a firearm.
Jones pled guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) after the denial of his motion to suppress. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the denial of the motion. Jones has not shown that he was seized prior to the search. In light of the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person in Jones’s position would have felt free to decline the officers’ request to open the door. Jones voluntarily consented to a search of his motel room.