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United States v. Monell

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

September 2, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
ERNESTO MONELL, Defendant, Appellant

As Amended September 14, 2015.

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS. Hon. F. Dennis Saylor IV, U.S. District Judge.

Page 35

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 36

Jonathan Shapiro, with whom Harley C. Racer and Shapiro, Weissberg & Garrin, LLP, were on brief, for appellant.

Randall E. Kromm, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Carmen M. Ortiz, United States Attorney, was on brief, for appellee.

Before Kayatta, Selya, and Dyk[*], Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 37

KAYATTA, Circuit Judge.

Ernesto Monell (" Monell" ) appeals from his conviction and sentence for one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and for one count of possessing with intent to distribute cocaine base. His primary challenge on appeal is to the warrant used by police to search his apartment. Monell also raises several other issues from his trial and sentencing. After careful consideration, we affirm the district court's judgment in full.

I. Background[1]

On February 16, 2012, police officers of the Fall River, Massachusetts, Police Department, executed a warrant to search an apartment suspected of belonging to a man known to the officers only as " Ness." Inside the apartment, officers found Monell, who matched the physical description of " Ness." One of the officers witnessed Monell placing a handgun on top of a refrigerator as the officers broke down the apartment door. After arresting Monell, officers seized the loaded handgun on the refrigerator, along with a dismantled shotgun, two shotgun rounds, 37 small bags of crack cocaine, digital scales, and materials used as drug packaging. Officers also found, among other items, a Massachusetts driver's license for Ernesto Monell, envelopes addressed to " Ernesto" but containing letters written to " Ness," photographs of Monell with members of the Bloods street gang, and three cell phones.

A grand jury issued an indictment charging Monell with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (count one) and possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (count two). Monell filed several unsuccessful motions before trial, including a motion to suppress evidence seized from the apartment, a motion to reconsider the denial of the initial motion to ...


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