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United States v. Diriye

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

March 16, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Fahad Abdihakim Diriye, Defendant - Appellant

         Submitted November 20, 2015

          Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - St. Paul.

         For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Craig Raymond Baune, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Jeffrey S. Paulsen, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, District of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

         Fahad Abdihakim Diriye, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, White Deer, PA.

         For Fahad Abdihakim Diriye, Defendant - Appellant: Frederick J. Goetz, GOETZ & ECKLAND, Minneapolis, MN.

         Before SMITH, BYE, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

         BYE, Circuit Judge.

         Fahad Abdihakim Diriye pled guilty in district court[1] to being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). As a condition of his guilty plea, Diriye reserved the right to argue on appeal that law enforcement violated his Fourth Amendment rights by performing a Terry stop without reasonable suspicion. We find law enforcement had reasonable suspicion to perform a Terry stop. We affirm.

         I

         On the evening of June 25, 2014, Minneapolis Police officers, including Officer Scott Aikins, responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot at Thomas Beach near Lake Calhoun. The suspicious vehicle matched the description and license plate of a vehicle connected to an armed home invasion and robbery that occurred in downtown Minneapolis three days prior. There were no suspects in custody at the time. The dispatch stated there were two people sleeping in the car.

         Three marked squad cars arrived at the scene and parked approximately one to two car-lengths away from the car. Officers removed a male and female from the vehicle, handcuffed them, and placed them into a squad car. At least seven law enforcement officers, including Officer Aikins, were standing nearby awaiting the arrival of a sergeant for instructions to search the suspect vehicle. Approximately fifteen minutes passed after officers arrived on scene when Diriye approached the suspect vehicle, opened the driver's door, and began to sit in the driver's seat. At this point, the suspect vehicle had not been searched or secured. Officer Aikins and another officer immediately approached the vehicle, ordered Diriye out of the vehicle, and handcuffed him.

         While Diriye and Officer Aikins were standing next to the vehicle, Diriye appeared to be continuously turning his body to keep his right side away from Officer Aikins. Officer Aikins became suspicious Diriye may have had a gun and patted him down. Officer Aikins immediately felt and removed a loaded handgun from Diriye's right pants pocket. Diriye was then taken into custody. While in custody, Diriye made incriminating statements to law enforcement about possessing the firearm.

         Diriye was later charged in the District of Minnesota in an indictment with one count of felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). Diriye filed a motion to suppress the firearm and a motion to suppress his post-arrest statements. Following an evidentiary hearing, the district court denied both motions to suppress.

         Following the district court's denial of his suppression motions, Diriye entered into a conditional plea of guilty. Diriye reserved the right to appeal the district court's denial of his motions to suppress. On June 15, 2015, Diriye was sentenced to a term ...


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