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United States v. Mills

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

March 15, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
BAILEY JOE MILLS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued: January 26, 2017

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, at Raleigh. Louise W. Flanagan, District Judge. (5:14-cr-00113-FL-1)

         ARGUED:

          Stephen Clayton Gordon, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellant.

          Kristine L. Fritz, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Thomas P. McNamara, Federal Public Defender, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellant.

          John Stuart Bruce, Acting United States Attorney, Jennifer P. May-Parker, Assistant United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellee.

          Before TRAXLER, DIAZ, and THACKER, Circuit Judges.

         Affirmed by published opinion. Judge Thacker wrote the opinion, in which Judge Traxler and Judge Diaz joined.

          THACKER, Circuit Judge.

         Bailey Joe Mills ("Appellant") pled guilty to a one-count criminal information charging him with manufacturing child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a), (d). He also had two previous convictions for taking indecent liberties with children in violation of North Carolina law. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.1. At sentencing, the district court determined the North Carolina taking indecent liberties with children statute constituted a state law "relating to the sexual exploitation of children." As a result, Appellant faced a sentence between 35 years and life. See 18 U.S.C. § 2251(e). Appellant did not object. The district court imposed a 45 year sentence.

         On appeal, Appellant argues for the first time that the district court erred in concluding that taking indecent liberties with children constitutes a state crime "relating to the sexual exploitation of children" pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2251(e). For the reasons that follow, we disagree with Appellant and affirm the district court.

         I.

         On January 5, 2014, police executed a search warrant on Appellant's home after an investigation revealed that he had been sexually abusing children. The search uncovered 125 videos and 924 still images produced by Appellant portraying the sexual exploitation of children. Appellant used at least ten different children to make the images. Appellant paid several of the children to have sex with him and other males. Appellant also possessed over 10, 000 additional images of child pornography and over 100, 000 images of child erotica and adult pornography. On August 12, 2014, ...


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