Submitted February 5, 2019
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western
District of Pennsylvania (D.C. No. 2-15-cr-00199-001)
District Judge: Honorable Mark R. Hornak
W. Brady Donovan J. Cocas Laura S. Irwin Office of United
States Attorney Attorneys for Appellee
Giuseppe G.C. Rosselli Attorney for Appellant
Before: HARDIMAN, SCIRICA, and RENDELL, Circuit Judges.
HARDIMAN, Circuit Judge.
Henley appeals an order of the District Court denying his
motion to suppress evidence. Henley preserved his right to
appeal that issue by entering conditional guilty pleas to
possessing a firearm and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 922(g)(1) and possession with intent to distribute
marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The
question presented is whether the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania violated Henley's Fourth Amendment rights
when it searched his house while he was on parole. Because
reasonable suspicion supported the search, we will affirm.
March 2012, Henley was a parolee subject to supervision by
the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. A parole
agent with over twenty years' experience, Joyce Douglass,
was assigned to Henley. According to Agent Douglass, Henley
first did "really well" on parole while living with
his sister in a supportive environment, App. II 109, and
Douglass had a "pretty decent relationship" with
him. App. II 111. But Douglass observed a "change in
attitude" as Henley "became more secretive"
and engaged in conduct that led Douglass to ask her
supervisor to search Henley and his home for evidence of drug
trafficking. App. II 111.
starters, Douglass noticed Henley began associating with
several former and current parolees suspected of drug
dealing. Henley also violated his parole conditions by moving
residences twice without the required prior notice. He moved
out of his sister's home and into a home on Pine Alley in
Clairton, Pennsylvania, that he reportedly bought for $1.00
from his brother Quienty, who was on parole as well. Henley
later moved to a home on Park Avenue in Clairton he bought
after reportedly selling the Pine Alley home for $800.00 to
Jarron Bell, who himself was a parolee supervised by Douglass
and was under investigation by the FBI for heroin
trafficking. Douglass learned Henley was associating with
Bell when she tried to visit Henley at the Pine Alley
address, but was greeted by Bell, who pretended to be a guest
even though he had bought the home from Henley. Henley
admitted lying to Douglass about the property transfer to
cover for Bell.
observations on other home visits likewise sparked concern.
She observed motorcycle club attire and a photograph of
Henley with the club, whose members included other parolees.
She caught Henley in more lies and another violation of
parole conditions. In late spring 2013, Agent Douglass twice
attempted a home visit, but Henley had traveled without
permission to the club's bike week at the beach. Henley
falsely reported that he had gone fishing just outside the
permitted area. In response, Douglass placed him on
electronic monitoring for a month. On a March 2014 home
visit, Douglass noticed Henley's front door had been
kicked in. Henley informed her someone broke into his home,
which raised a red flag because it suggested to Douglass that
someone was looking for drugs, guns, or money. Finally,
during an October 31, 2014 home visit, Douglass smelled the
"really strong" odor of a "large amount of
marijuana," which she called "skunk weed,"
coming from the enclosed porch. App. II 137-139.
issue that troubled Douglass was Henley's apparent income
in relation to his lawful employment. At the beginning of his
parole, Henley changed employers twice, increasing his wage
to $11.00 per hour at MPW Industrial Services. According to
his boss, Henley "work[ed] as much overtime as he
possibly could," App. II 121, "trying to better
himself." App. II 110. But MPW later reported to
Douglass that Henley chose to work less, rejecting available
work he sought before and "all of a sudden, he just
seemed to be working a couple days a week." App. II 121.
Despite this reduced schedule, Henley paid several thousand
dollars in fines, when previously he had paid little.
Douglass also took notice that: (1) Henley owned three motor
vehicles, a motorcycle, and a boat; (2) Henley appeared at
the parole offices with a "fair amount of cash,"
though not enough in her estimation to document, App. II 191;
and (3) "quite a bit of money" was spent to remodel
and furnish Henley's Park Avenue home. App. II 132.
December 2014, MPW terminated Henley's employment because
he punched a co-worker, and multiple sources reported to
Douglass that Henley's brother Quienty brought a handgun
to the altercation. Yet Henley told Douglass that his
employer fired him because he accidentally ate a marijuana
brownie and failed a drug test.
October 2013 until early 2015, Douglass received reports that
Henley was selling marijuana, that he was paying his
subordinates with heroin, and that his associates, (including
Bell) were selling drugs.
February 23, 2015, after receiving approval from her
supervisor, Douglass and two other Pennsylvania parole agents
(John Sartori, Jr. and Ronald Fine) entered Henley's home
through an open door without a warrant, searched his person,
and searched his residence. Officers found and seized the
following indicia of drug trafficking: over $2, 000 in cash;
over 800 grams of marijuana in a large plastic bag, a
vacuum-sealed package, and several individual packages;
scales; a marijuana grinder; a .45 caliber pistol and
ammunition; and three cell phones. During the search, Henley
made incriminating statements as well.
federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging
Henley with drug trafficking and firearm offenses. Henley
moved under Rule 12(b)(3)(C) of the Federal Rules of Criminal
Procedure to suppress the evidence obtained from the search,
contending it violated the Fourth Amendment. After an
evidentiary hearing, the District Court denied the motion,
holding the agents possessed reasonable suspicion necessary