United States v Villanueva

Villanueva appealed the denial of his motion to suppress and his sentence. The panel affirmed. It held the police obtained the search warrant here in good faith as the good faith exception applies when the magistrate is not neutral and detached as suppression would not deter police misconduct  as there is no duty to inquire about judicial neutrality and the judge here acted as a judge not a police officer when issuing the warrant. It held the affidavit in support of the warrant was sufficient to provide good faith on the part of the police as it set out wiretap information connecting Villanueva to the methamphetamine trafficking , connected Villeneuve to the house searched through cell phone location data and surveillance demonstrating the presence of cars belonging Villanueva’s family and girlfriend. The panel held that information in the affidavit from three months before the search was not stale under circuit precedent involving ongoing drug trafficking  and the broad categories of items to be seized was sufficiently specific under circuit precedent. It finally upheld his sentence holding Villanueva’s prior marijuana trafficking convictions quailed as serious drug offenses for career criminal purposes. 

In re Encinias

Encinias applied for permission to file a second or successive habeas challenge to his sentence based on Johnson which held the residual clause of the career criminal statute unconstitutional which was recently held to apply retroactively. The panel granted his application holding that the same reasoning that held the Supreme Court to strike down the residual clause in Johnson led the 10th Circuit to rule the parallel provision in the sentencing guideline to be unconstitutional. Thus, while the precise basis of the challenge is likely circuit precedent, Encinias made a prima facia challenge and the panel authorized the habeas petition.