United States v. Kennedy

United States Court of Appeals For the First Circuit No. 15-2298 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee, v. JOSEPH J. KENNEDY, Defendant, Appellant. APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS [Hon. Douglas P. Woodlock, U.S. District Judge] Before Torruella, Kayatta, and Barron, Circuit Judges. Oscar Cruz, Jr., Assistant Federal Public Defender, and Amy Barsky, Research and Writing Specialist, Federal Public Defender Office, for appellant. Randall E. Kromm, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Carmen M. Ortiz, United States Attorney, was on brief, for appellee. January 24, 2018 KAYATTA, Circuit Judge. Joseph Kennedy appeals his conviction and sentence for being a felon in possession of ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. ยง 922(g)(1). Challenging his conviction, Kennedy argues that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence obtained from a warrantless search of the vehicle he was driving immediately before his arrest. Challenging his sentence, he argues that the district court erred in finding that he qualified for a mandatory minimum sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act ("ACCA"). We affirm Kennedy's conviction, but vacate his sentence and remand for resentencing. I. Background We draw from the district court's findings of fact for the circumstances leading to Kennedy's arrest and indictment. In the spring of 2014, Kennedy was on federal supervised release when a warrant issued for his arrest based on allegations that he had violated the terms of his supervision. While several officers from the Boston Police Department and the United States Marshals Service were conducting surveillance in Charlestown, Massachusetts at the address of Kennedy's longtime girlfriend, the Quincy Police Department transmitted a "Be On the Lookout" bulletin. The bulletin explained that Kennedy was wanted for a larceny that had occurred in Quincy, Massachusetts the night before. The surveillance team learned, from a United States Marshal who communicated the information in the bulletin, that the larceny had - 2 - involved the theft of a safe containing ammunition and possibly weapons, pepper spray, and drugs. The officers were also told that Kennedy might be driving a gray Honda Fit and were provided with the license plate number of that vehicle. Later that afternoon, a gray Honda Fit matching the bulletin's description approached the surveillance location. One officer recognized Kennedy as the driver of the car from a photograph he had been shown previously. Kennedy parked the car legally near his girlfriend's apartment and exited the vehicle. When the officers approached Kennedy to arrest him, he ran away but was quickly apprehended. He was handcuffed and removed from the scene. Once Kennedy was secured and away from the car, one of the officers approached the Honda Fit. Through the window of the vehicle, the officer could see clutter on the backseat, including duffel bags, garbage bags, backpacks, and clothing. He also saw a large, box-shaped object on the backseat mostly covered by a duffle bag. A small visible portion of the box appeared to be gray and metallic. Believing the object to be the ...

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