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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:As part of an undercover sting, police officers in Shreveport, La., conducted two controlled purchases of crack cocaine. For the first transaction, a confidential informant allegedly purchased 0.3 grams of crack cocaine for $20 from a man named Melvin. For the second transaction, the same informant purchased 0.3 grams of crack cocaine for $20 from a woman whom the informant identified as Melvin’s mother. Officer Bo Lummus of the Shreveport Police Department prepared an affidavit to apply for a search warrant. The magistrate judge found probable cause and issued the warrant. Police found and seized approximately 25 grams of powder cocaine and 72 grams of crack cocaine, as well as firearms, ammunition, a bulletproof vest, three digital scales and a measuring cup in a duffel bag identified as belonging to Melvin Lee Mays. Mays was arrested. Mays filed a motion to suppress, alleging that the search warrant was not supported by probable cause. He also filed an objection to the notice filed by the government alleging two prior felony narcotics convictions and one prior felony conviction for aggravated battery. Mays further filed a motion to sever the felon-in-possession charges from the remaining charges and post-verdict motions for a new trial and judgment of acquittal. Finally, Mays objected to an enhancement in his presentence report based on a narcotics conviction he received when he was 17 years old but tried as an adult. The district court denied all of Mays’ motions and objections. Melvin Lee Mays was convicted of five counts: 1. possession with intent to distribute 50 or more grams of cocaine base; 2. possession with intent to distribute powder cocaine; 3. carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime; 4. being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm; and 5. having been convicted of a crime of violence and being in possession of body armor. Mays was sentenced to life in prison. Mays timely appealed. HOLDING:Affirmed. At sentencing, Mays objected to the use of his 1992 adult felony conviction for possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, obtained in Louisiana state court when he was 17 years old, as a predicate offense for imposing a life sentence. He argues that use of this prior offense is cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment as interpreted in Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Eighth and 14th Amendments prohibited imposition of the death penalty on offenders who were under 18 when their crimes were committed. The court stated that Roper did not apply because Mays failed to proffer evidence of a national consensus that sentencing enhancements to life imprisonment based, in part, on juvenile convictions contravene modern standards of decency. There is not a national consensus that a sentencing enhancement to life imprisonment based, in part, upon a juvenile conviction contravenes modern standards of decency. Roper, therefore, is inapposite. The court found that joinder of the felon-in-possession charge was proper, because the transactional relationship between the charges was particularly strong in light of the fact that the police found the cocaine, firearms, ammunition and bulletproof vest pursuant to the same search warrant. The court also found that the government provided sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude that it has met its burden of proving intent to distribute beyond a reasonable doubt; denied that the trial court’s failure to include lesser-included offense instructions in the jury charge was error; and found the magistrate judge correctly denied Mays’ motion to suppress. OPINION:Clement, J.; Smith, Garza and Clement, J.J.

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