United States v. Jones, No. 10-4442

Decided: January 13, 2012

Defendants Kipling J. Jones and Rebecca L. Jones, husband and wife, appealed their convictions for conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and dispense, and to possess with intent to distribute and dispense, methamphetamine. The court affirmed the denial of defendants’ motions to suppress evidence, but vacated Mr. Jones’ sentence of 262 months in prison and remanded. The Jones’ filed nearly identical motions to suppress the evidence seized from the Jones residence on the ground that the warrantless protective sweep that led to the discovery of evidence in plain view and provided probable cause for the search warranted violated the Fourth Amendment. The Joneses argued the sweep violated the Fourth Amendment because the authorities did not possess a sufficient factual basis for a reasonable suspicion that there were other individuals in their residence who could pose a danger to the officers in connection with their arrest of Kipling Jones. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, and found the sweep constitutional. Prior to oral arguments in the appeals, the government conceded that Kipling Jones’s sentence was procedurally unreasonable and should be vacated and remanded. Therefore, the Fourth Circuit vacated Kipling Jones’s sentence and remanded for resentencing.

Full Opinion

-Sara I. Salehi

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