September 15, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. ll-CR-00779 -
Sharon Johnson Coleman, Judge.
Manion, Rovner, and Hamilton, Circuit Judges.
ROVNER, Circuit Judge.
Conley was ensnared in a now familiar government set up in
which a government actor, pretending to be a criminal,
presents the defendant with an opportunity to be part of a
robbery of an illegal drug stash house. The stash house is
fictional, of course, and so the government decides which and
what quantity of drugs it will have (in this case, fifty
kilograms of cocaine) and how high or low the barriers to the
crime will be (in this case it was allegedly protected only
by two armed and one unarmed guards). Conley took the bait
and ended up with a sentence of 180 months' imprisonment
on drug distribution and weapons charges. He moved the
district court for acquittal or a new trial and when that was
denied, appealed the decision to this court. We affirm.
arrived at his workplace on November 1, 2011, only to find
that he could not work because of a malfunctioning piece of
machinery. He started to drive back to his girlfriend's
house, but in a second stroke of bad luck, found that he did
not have enough gas or money to purchase gas for the trip.
While stopped at the gas station, Conley encountered two
acquaintances, David Flowers (David) and Anwar Trapp
(Trapp). According to the evidence taken in the
light most favorable to the government, as we must after
conviction by a jury (United States v. Longstreet,
567 F.3d 911, 918 (7th Cir. 2008)), David and Trapp picked up
Conley and brought him back to Anthony Adams' basement to
discuss a plan to rob an illegal drug stash house, a plan
orchestrated by Myreon Flowers (Myreon).
to Conley, Myreon, or anyone else in the basement meeting,
there was no robbery to be had. It was, instead, a sting set
up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Earlier, on October 25, 26, and 31, an FBI cooperating source
and an ATF undercover agent met with Myreon to discuss and
plan a stash house robbery. The un- dercover agent, posing as
the disgruntled employee of drug kingpin, gave Myreon the tip
that a drug-king boss had a stash house where there would be
at least fifty kilograms of cocaine guarded by one unarmed
and two armed men. Myreon developed a plan involving at least
three armed robbers who would tie up the stash house guards
and steal the cocaine.
October 31, Myreon met with his brother, David, and his
cousin, Trapp, at a friend's apartment and told them
about the opportunity to rob the stash house. The three men
discussed recruiting Adams because he had a gun. The next
day, November 1, Trapp, David, and Myreon found Adams and
discussed plans with him in the basement of his house. Cell
phone records confirmed calls between Adams and David at this
testified that in that basement meeting Myreon explained to
Adams that "he had this one white guy that got a lick
[robbery] for them to go on for fifty kilos of coke." A.
0202. After some discussion of the robbery plan
and the need for more participants, Adams said that he had
someone in mind who could help, and he, David and Trapp left
Adams' house to pick up the defendant who was a few
blocks away. Prior to this point, Conley was not
involved in the conspiracy.
to Trapp, he, Myreon, David, Adams, and Conley then reunited,
again in Adams' basement, to discuss the robbery. Conley,
of course, had a different version of the story-one that
involved smoking marijuana and discussing some work gutting a
house. But once again, on a motion for acquittal or new
trial, we take the facts in the light most favorable to the
government, which in this case come largely from the
testimony of co-conspirator Trapp and corroborated in many
instances by other evidence and testimony. At this final
basement meeting, Myreon passed along what he had learned
from "the white guy"-that the fifty kilos were
being stored in a garage guarded by three Mexicans, two of
whom had guns. Trapp understood that Adams and Conley would
be the ones "that actually do the robbery." A.
0208. The group decided that they needed one more robber and
one more gun to carry out their plan.
response to their questions, Myreon told Adams and Conley
that they would get two to three kilograms of cocaine apiece
for assisting with the robbery. Trapp also testified that
Adams and Conley wanted to know how Myreon knew the white
guy, whether he could be trusted, and what was going to
happen to him after the robbery-that is whether "we
gonna leave him alone or we gon [sic] pop [shoot] him."
A. 0210. Myreon said that nothing would happen to "the
white guy." The group then agreed to meet at 6317 S.
Mozart in a few hours before dispersing.
testified that following that meeting, he and David dropped
Conley off where they had picked him up. Trapp then called
his cousin, Dwayne Jones, and asked to meet him at 6317 S.
Mozart because "it [was] about to go down." A.
0212. Trapp and Jones both testified that they then met with
David and Myreon at that address and that the four of them
(Conley was not present) discussed the robbery, including the
fact that others would also be involved.
on their plan, the four men (not including Conley) drove to a
nearby Lowe's hardware store to procure supplies for the
robbery, including a walkie-talkie set to communicate with
each other during the robbery, and blue latex gloves to
ensure that they did not leave fingerprints behind. Jones
testified that during the drive back to Mozart Street, he and
Myreon had a disagreement about the fact that the latter had
told the men who would actually be executing the robbing that
they would each only get two kilograms of cocaine. Jones did
not think that was fair as those were the three individuals
who would be assuming the greatest risk by going into the
garage to get the drugs. Myreon, however, said that the men
had already agreed to the amount.
undercover FBI agent arrived at 6317 S. Mozart at around 1:45
pm and recorded the conversations. From approximately 1:45
until 2:30 p.m., Myreon, David, Trapp, Jones and the agent
discussed plans for the robbery while waiting for Conley,
Adams, and a third man, Rudy Space, to arrive. As Myreon
explained to the agent, earlier that morning he had met with
these individuals who were going to actually execute the
robbery, and had discussed the possibility of having to shoot
the armed ...