United States v. Craddock, No. 15-3705 (8th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of fifteen years’ imprisonment under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e). As an initial matter, defendant's proximity to the stolen vehicle and his demeanor when the officer approached him provided the officer with reasonable suspicion to frisk defendant for weapons. The court concluded, however, that the officer’s seizure of the key fob in defendant's pant pocket exceeded the appropriate scope of a Terry frisk, and it should have been suppressed. In this case, while defendant was relatively close to the stolen vehicle and behaving nervously, circumstances which make this question close, feeling an unidentified key fob in defendant's pocket did not provide the officer with probable cause to conclude that the key fob belonged to the stolen Pontiac. Accordingly, the court vacated the conviction and remanded for further proceedings.
Court Description: Gruender, Author, with Smith and Melloy, Circuit Judges] Criminal Case - suppression. Proximity of defendant to stolen vehicle and his demeanor gave officer reasonable suspicion to frisk for weapons. Officer did not have probably cause to reach in pocket to grab key fob and thus the seizure of the fob violated the Fourth Amendment. Defendant had reasonable expectation of privacy in contents of his pants pockets. Conviction is reversed and there is no need to discuss sentencing challenge.