US v. Diaz, No. 06-30029 (6-22-07). Should evidence be suppressed if no one is home? No, said the 9th (Clifton joined by Farris and Bea), because the police had an arrest warrant and it was reasonable to believe that he was in the house at the time. The defendant, with a record of violent priors, ran an auto repair business from his home. The house and yard were protected by dogs and cameras. The police had "visited" him several times over the past months (gee, the police can be sooooo friendly) and he had told them that he was always there. The day they got the arrest warrant and went to arrest him, he was not. It appeared that he was but he had actually gone to a casino. The police knocked, and then entered, where upon they saw contraband. The 9th affirmed the denial of suppression because the police acted reasonably under the circumstances.
US v. Norbury, No. 06-30328 (6-25-07). The 9th affirmed convictions for meth drug trafficking and sentencing. The 9th found that the sentencing was properly enhanced under 21 USC 841 for a prior drug conviction even though the state had dismissed the conviction for complying with the terms of the sentence. The definition of a "prior conviction" under 841 is determined by federal law, and the federal definition counts prior dismissed state convictions if the reason was for compliance with conditions and did not go to guilt or innocence.