Submitted: June 13, 2018
from United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri - Kansas City
LOKEN and MELLOY, Circuit Judges. 
MELLOY, Circuit Judge.
Long was convicted by a jury of one count of possession with
intent to distribute a controlled substance, in violation of
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and one count of possession of a
firearm by a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). Long was sentenced to 360 months'
imprisonment. He appeals, arguing the district
court erred by failing to suppress evidence
discovered during an inventory search. He also argues the
district court erred in calculating his criminal history. We
affirm Long's convictions and sentence.
October 26, 2013, Long parked his car in the backyard of
Valerie McCoy's house. Long did not know McCoy. He
approached McCoy's door, knocked, received no answer, and
left on foot, leaving the car parked in her backyard without
permission. McCoy was home at the time and had observed Long
park his car. Out of fear due to the unusual situation, and
because she did not recognize Long, she did not answer the
door. Instead, she locked herself in her bedroom and called
the Kansas City, Missouri police.
officers arrived at the scene of the apparent trespassing and
vehicle abandonment, McCoy explained that a black male parked
the car in her yard, knocked on the door, and left when she
did not answer. The officers found a 2013 silver Avenger
parked in McCoy's backyard, ran the license plate number,
and learned it was a rental car. After an unsuccessful
attempt to contact the rental company, the officers called a
tow truck to remove the car from McCoy's property.
officers had already ordered the tow truck, Long ran towards
them from another property. He gave the officers his name,
told the officers the name of the person who had rented the
car, and explained that he had parked the car in McCoy's
yard to hide the car so that he could visit the nearby home
of a girlfriend without being seen. Recognizing the
strangeness of the situation, the officers handcuffed and
frisked Long and asked if they could look in the car. Long
said it would be okay but that the keys were at a nearby
house. He did not otherwise provide assistance to the
officers to obtain the keys or enable a search.
ran Long's name, and a computer search revealed two
outstanding warrants for his arrest. Believing these warrants
were out of Kansas City, Missouri, the officers placed Long
in a patrol vehicle. Soon after, the officers learned the
warrants were out of Kansas City, Kansas, and were
non-extraditable. The officers did not, however, remove
Long's handcuffs or release him from the patrol vehicle.
Ballowe, one of the first officers on the scene, asked the
patrol vehicle driver to continue holding Long so he could
"determine if there was anything illegal in the
car." Around this time, Sergeant Hamilton, a member of
the Kansas City Police Department's illegal firearms
squad, arrived at the scene. He was called because he was
investigating Long as a possible suspect in several homicides
and had asked to be notified any time Long had an encounter
with police. Sergeant Hamilton was with Officer Ballowe for
the entire vehicle search.
the car was locked, the tow-truck driver used a "slim
jim" to open the car door. On the passenger seat of the
car, Officer Ballowe found a backpack containing pepper
spray, a taser, and a Coke can. The can felt hard and solid,
so Officer Ballowe twisted the top of the can and discovered
a bag containing a white powder. At this point, Sergeant
Hamilton told Officer Ballowe to stop the inventory search in
order to obtain a search warrant.
was placed under arrest, the vehicle was towed, and Long was
issued a ticket for illegally parking the vehicle. After
obtaining the search warrant, officers discovered a camcorder
in the car. The camcorder contained clips of Long with a
Glock pistol. Additionally, the white powder was tested and
determined to be 2-(Methylamino)-1-phenyl-1-butanone
(buphedrone), a Schedule I controlled substance. Long was
subsequently indicted for possession with intent to
distribute a controlled substance and possession of a firearm
by a felon.
trial, Long moved to suppress the evidence against him.
Following a suppression hearing, the magistrate judge
recommended denying the motion to suppress, finding that the
vehicle search was a valid inventory search and assuming,
without deciding, that Long had ...