Submitted: January 12, 2018
Appeals from United States District Court for the Southern
District of Iowa - Des Moines
SMITH, Chief Judge, MELLOY and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.
a consolidated appeal of two drug coconspirators' cases.
Jonathan Leroy Homedew was convicted of conspiracy to
distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(a), and 846. He appeals the
district court's denial of his motion to suppress and
alleges that his trial counsel's ineffective assistance
led to the denial of his motions to dismiss the indictment
for violation of his speedy trial rights. Michael Patrick
Carr was convicted of possession of methamphetamine, in
violation 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C). He
appeals the substantive reasonableness of his prison
sentence. We affirm.
September 7, 2016, United States Postal Inspector Kevin
Marshall identified a suspicious package while conducting a
routine examination of parcels at the United States Postal
Service's facility in south Des Moines, Iowa. After a
drug-sniffing dog alerted to the presence of a controlled
substance, Marshall obtained a search warrant to open the
package. He found that the parcel contained
approximately one kilogram of methamphetamine.
enforcement conducted a controlled delivery of the package to
its intended address. Shortly after the package was
delivered, Carr arrived in a vehicle registered to Homedew.
Carr retrieved the package and drove off. The authorities
arrested Carr shortly thereafter. He chose to cooperate with
police. Carr disclosed that he had a business relationship
with "Jon." Carr stated that he anticipated
receiving another approximately 27 pounds of methamphetamine
from Jon that had already been shipped. Carr also told police
that Jon was flying into town the next evening. Using text
messages Carr showed them, Jon's cell phone number, and a
social media search, law enforcement concluded that Jon was
September 8, about ten law enforcement officers positioned
themselves around the Des Moines airport in anticipation of
Homedew's arrival. They spotted him leaving the airport
with a backpack. Police arrested Homedew and took possession
of his backpack. The backpack was not immediately searched.
Officers escorted Homedew to a police vehicle, and when
asked, Homedew disclosed that he had checked one bag. Officer
Ben Carter asked Homedew for permission to look in the
backpack to retrieve the baggage claim receipt. Homedew told
him to "go ahead," and said the receipt would be in
the top pouch. United States v. Jonathan Leroy
Homedew, No. 4:16-cr-0145-JAJ-HCA-1, slip op. at 3 (S.D.
Iowa Dec. 22, 2016), ECF No. 130. While looking for the
baggage receipt, Carter noticed three postal receipts
commingled with other papers in the pouch. Given what he knew
about the case to that point, he surmised that the postal
receipts could contain incriminating information and seized
them as well. Carter then began opening another zipper,
prompting Homedew to withdraw his consent to look in the bag.
Carter stopped the search. Upon Homedew's and the
officers' arrival at the police station, Carter made
copies of the receipts and went online to track their
progress. He also provided copies to Marshall, the postal
being transported to the police station, Homedew consented in
writing to a police interview. He was Mirandized and
told that he was not obligated to participate in or continue
the interview. Homedew expressed his belief that the search
of his backpack at the airport had exceeded the scope of his
consent. Nonetheless, he eventually consented to the search
of his backpack and checked bag. Notes found in his checked
luggage corroborated information Carr gave police about the
the postal receipts, Marshall retrieved eight more packages
containing methamphetamine-seven at the Des Moines postal
station, and one at the post office in Winterset, Iowa.
September 21, 2016, the government indicted Homedew and Carr,
as well as Sonya Rae Tucker and Amber Marie Shipp, with
conspiracy to distribute over 50 grams of actual
methamphetamine and 500 grams of a mixture or substance
containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846. Carr,
Tucker, and Shipp were also charged with a single count of
possession with intent to distribute, in violation of 21
U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C).
November 7, 2016, Homedew's appointed counsel moved to
suppress evidence obtained from the search of his backpack
and seizure of the postal receipts, including the fruits of
the search of his checked baggage and other items, arguing
that the search and seizure violated his Fourth Amendment
court consolidated the defendants' trial schedules and
set trial for all four defendants for November 28, 2016. On
November 1, Shipp's counsel moved to continue the trial
for three months, alleging that Shipp needed time to work out
her plea deal and that her codefendants had no objection. The
court granted the motion following a hearing and reset trial
for February 13, 2017. The court, citing the ends of justice,
excluded the time between the filing of the motion and the
new trial date from consideration under the Speedy Trial Act.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(1)(7)(A).
December 16, upon discovering the continuance, Homedew filed
a pro se motion claiming that his attorney had ignored his
clear request to file an objection to any continuance of his
trial. Homedew asserted a violation of his right to a speedy
trial. He also requested that the court appoint him new
counsel. He subsequently filed a pro se motion to sever and a
pro se motion to dismiss. The gravamen of both motions was
that delays in the case violated his right to a speedy trial
under both the Speedy Trial Act and the Sixth Amendment. The
court appointed substitute counsel, who also filed a motion
to dismiss the indictment for violations of Homedew's
right to a speedy trial. The pro se and counsel-filed motions
to dismiss alleged that Homedew's previous counsel had
failed him by consenting to a continuance against his wishes.
district court denied Homedew's motion to suppress.
First, it found that Homedew had voluntarily consented to the
search of his backpack. Second, the court found that the
search was properly undertaken incident to Homedew's
arrest. Third, the court found that the plain view doctrine
justified the seizure of the postal receipts. Finally, the
court denied the motion under the inevitable discovery
doctrine. It explained that even if the search was improper,
the information possessed by the police at that point would
have, in concert with their investigative techniques,
resulted in the discovery of the remaining methamphetamine.
court also denied the speedy trial motions, determining that
fewer than 40 excludable days had elapsed since Homedew's
arraignment. It also noted that Homedew had not provided any
authority in support of his proposition that an objection to
the continuance should have prevented an otherwise
justifiable resetting of the trial date. A jury ...