United States v. Shawn Sorensen

United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 17-1984 ___________________________ United States of America lllllllllllllllllllllPlaintiff - Appellee v. Shawn Russell Sorensen lllllllllllllllllllllDefendant - Appellant ____________ Appeal from United States District Court for the District of South Dakota - Sioux Falls ____________ Submitted: March 14, 2018 Filed: June 26, 2018 ____________ Before GRUENDER, BEAM, and KELLY, Circuit Judges. ____________ BEAM, Circuit Judge. Shawn Russell Sorensen appeals following his jury trial conviction and sentence, arguing that the district court1 erred in failing sua sponte to exclude the testimony of the government's fingerprint expert, in determining that the 1 The Honorable Lawrence L. Piersol, United States District Judge for the District of South Dakota. government's error in initially misstating Sorensen's predicate offense was clerical and not substantive, and that the court's2 imposition of life without parole in this case violates Sorensen's rights under the Eighth Amendment. We affirm. I. BACKGROUND On April 25, 2016, a United States Postal Inspector in Minneapolis applied for and received a search warrant for a postal package sent from a post office in Arizona, addressed to "Gayle Hartz, 404 S. Donaldson, Luvern [sic], Minn. 56156." A certified canine alerted to the odor of narcotics. The return label read "Dave Beckman, 13580 W. Port Royale, Suprise [sic], AZ, 85379." Through the execution of the warrant, the inspector found various items such as clothing, toilet paper, paper towels, 192 grams of cocaine, and over four kilograms of methamphetamine wrapped in bundles of plastic and black electrical tape. The inspector then contacted a counterpart in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is very near Luverne, Minnesota, and requested that he conduct a controlled delivery of the package. He did. Prior to the delivery, an anticipatory search warrant was granted for the residence and Hartz's person. After the controlled delivery to the home in Luverne, officers observed a vehicle drive from the residence. An officer stopped the vehicle and arrested Hartz, the driver, while other officers executed the search warrant at Hartz's home, ultimately locating the unopened, delivered package in a bedroom. When stopped, Hartz told the officers that she received the package on behalf of Shawn Sorensen. Hartz and Sorensen had communicated via text regarding the status of the package prior to its delivery. Just after delivery, Hartz texted Sorensen saying, "Its here. So get ur butt here." Sorensen replied, "I'm on my way." 2 The case was reassigned to the Honorable Karen E. Schreier, United States District Judge for the District of South Dakota following trial. -2- The Minnesota agents informed members of the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force (SFADTF) about Sorensen's involvement. SFADTF began conducting surveillance almost immediately at Sorensen's residence in Sioux Falls. Between the SFADTF and Minnesota law enforcement, officers followed Sorensen from his home to Hartz's residence. Officers immediately arrested Sorensen when he entered Hartz's home. After his arrest, officers found $15,700 cash in Sorensen's pocket. A search warrant executed at Sorensen's residence turned up methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and a USPS mailing label ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals