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UNITED STATES v. SIMS

September 17, 1992

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RUFUS SIMS, et al. Defendants.


ALESIA


The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES H. ALESIA

Judge James H. Alesia

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

 In this case, nineteen defendants are charged in a nineteen-count indictment with various offenses including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, money "laundering" and criminal racketeering. *fn1" Three defendants have filed motions to suppress evidence and requested a hearing. *fn2" Defendant Donald Moore moves to suppress all evidence, derivative evidence and statements resulting from the execution of search warrants on a house at 1615 South 16th Avenue, Maywood, Illinois (the "1615 South 16th Avenue residence") on February 7, 1989 and on a house at 2606 South Boeger Avenue, Westchester, Illinois (the "South Boeger Avenue residence") on February 7, 1989. Moore also moves to suppress any evidence seized and statements made during his arrest on March 5, 1992. Defendant Estella Sims *fn3" moves to suppress all evidence recovered from the execution of a search warrant on a house at 241 North Waller Street, Chicago, Illinois (the "North Waller residence") on April 6, 1989. Defendant Andrea Thomas moves to suppress all evidence, derivative evidence and statements resulting from the execution of a search warrant on the residence at the South Boeger Avenue residence. Thomas also moves to suppress all evidence seized by police and government agents during an encounter at the Forest Park National Bank, in Forest Park, Illinois, on February 10, 1989 and all evidence obtained from certain safe deposit boxes located at Western National Bank, Clyde Federal Savings and Oak Park Trust Bank. Defendants Joe Boyles, Ruby Ann Chambers and Andrea Thomas have filed motions to adopt the pretrial motions of their co-defendants, including the three motions to suppress. *fn4"

 A. The Perjured Affidavit

 During January of 1989, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency ("DEA") instituted an investigation into an alleged drug organization headed up by defendant Rufus Sims. According to the government, Rufus Sims operated a heroin and cocaine distribution network known as the "Four Corner Hustlers" in the Austin area of Chicago, Illinois. Unrelated to this investigation, on February 7, 1989, Chicago Police Department ("CPD") officers arrested an individual (the "CI") on drug trafficking charges. *fn6" The CPD officers told the CI that he would be prosecuted unless he disclosed names of individuals who he knew to possess illegal firearms. The CI stated that he knew Rufus Sims stored firearms at 1615 South 16th Avenue, Maywood, Illinois and that he had seen firearms there approximately one year earlier. The CI also told the CPD officers that he had accompanied Rufus Sims to other "dope house" locations, that he knew Rufus Sims owned the 1615 South 16th Avenue home, that Rufus Sims' girlfriend lived there, and that Rufus Sims used the home as a drug dealing location.

 The CPD officers prepared an affidavit to support the issuance of a search warrant for the 1615 South 16th Avenue home. The government admits that the affidavit, as attested to by the CI, contained false information. The government states that the CI later told federal authorities:

 The police told him that they wanted him to sign an affidavit to the above facts, except that they wanted him to tell the judge that he had seen the guns at [1615 South 16th Avenue,] Maywood address two days earlier. According to the [CI], he told the police that Sims might have moved the firearms. According to the [CI], the officers asked where Sims would have moved the guns. The [CI] stated that Sims would probably have moved the guns to Sims' new residence at 2606 South Boeger in Westchester. The police told the [CI] that they wanted him to say that he had also gone to the Boeger address with Sims two days earlier and seen the guns there, as well. Police told the [CI] that he would not be prosecuted for the narcotics charge if he swore to the altered affidavit. The [CI] did so and was not prosecuted or charged with the narcotics offense. On the basis of the [CI's] information, police officers obtained a state search warrant for the [2606 South Boeger,] Westchester and [1615 South 16th Avenue,] Maywood addresses.

 Government's Response, at 8. The government admits that at the time the police officers obtained the search warrant from the state court judge, the officers knew that the statements in the affidavit were false.

 B. The 1615 South 16th Avenue and 2606 South Boeger Avenue Searches

 On February 7, 1989, CPD police officers executed the search warrant at the 1615 South 16th Avenue address seizing numerous firearms and explosives. Jacqueline Moore, defendant Donald Moore's wife, present at the time of the search, was arrested by the police and made a statement. *fn7" At the time of the search, Donald Moore was incarcerated for an unrelated state criminal sentence.

 C. The Forest Park Bank Search

 The government states that on February 9, 1989, CPD police officers contacted Forest Park National Bank, the Western National Bank and Clyde Federal Savings. The government alleges that each of the banks informed the officers that "a woman had contacted the bank and said she had lost the keys to her safe deposit box and needed to gain entry to the box before the weekend. The boxes that this woman sought entry to were the same boxes that matched the respective keys seized during the [2606 South Boeger Avenue residence] search." Government Response, at 10. The following day, a confidential informant *fn8" allegedly informed police officers that Andrea Thomas would be going to the Forest Park National Bank and would attempt to remove the contents of several safe deposit boxes. While keeping the bank under surveillance, police officers observed Andrea Thomas and Estella Sims enter and leave the bank, return to the bank with an empty large black satchel, and leave the bank with the satchel appearing full and heavy. When police officers approached the two women, Sims, who was carrying the satchel, allegedly disclaimed ownership of the satchel and knowledge of its contents. The satchel contained $ 113,553 in cash. The officers also observed Thomas drop an envelope she had been carrying and attempt to conceal a cloth bag in her blouse. The government states that when Thomas was ...


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