United States v. Bellamy

Defendant Storm Michael Bellamy was under investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF") for suspected methamphetamine distribution. Defendant's housemate ordered him out of the house; twelve hours later, ATF agents executed a search warrant on the premises. In Bellamy’s former bedroom, agents discovered his personal effects, a rifle with a loaded large-capacity magazine attached, and a second large-capacity magazine nearby. Defendant pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. The district court applied United States Sentencing Guidelines 2K2.1(a)(4)(B), which established a base offense level of 20 when a convicted felon possessed a semiautomatic firearm with a large-capacity magazine that was either attached or in close proximity to the firearm. Defendant was sentenced to 40 months in prison. On appeal, defendant challenged the procedural reasonableness of his sentence: because he was ejected from the house, he argues he did not possess the rifle when agents seized. He also claimed there was insufficient evidence to show that the rifle he possessed earlier that morning had a large-capacity magazine attached or in close proximity to it. The Tenth Circuit found ample support in the district court record to support the finding defendant possessed the rifle and the large-capacity magazines. Accordingly, the court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing him. View "United States v. Bellamy" on Justia Law