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U.S. v. WILSON

August 3, 2005.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DARYL R. WILSON, SR., Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM STIEHL, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion and amended motion to suppress evidence and statements (Docs. 22, 39). The government has filed responses to both motions. The Court held an evidentiary hearing on the motion to suppress and amended motion and took the matter under advisement.

The defendant asserts several grounds for suppression, inter alia: that there were no grounds for approaching the defendant while in his parked car; that he was threatened with a drawn pistol and then his car was searched without his consent; that he was taken to the United States Marshal's Service office and questioned and gave a statement without being given his Miranda warnings; and, that he was subsequently questioned at DEA offices in Fairview Heights and that any statement given at that time was tainted by the prior questioning.

  FACTUAL BACKGROUND*fn1

  1. The Arrest of the Defendant.

  Special Agent Michael Rehg, DEA, testified that on February 13, 2004, he had received information from an informant, Manfred McGee, that "D-Mack" would be coming from St. Louis and was going to deliver approximately half a kilogram of cocaine in the East St. Louis area, at a Mobil Station at Martin Luther King and Collinsville Avenue. The information was that the individual would be driving a black car with Missouri plates. The car was identified at some point as either a black Thunderbird or an IROC Camaro. S/A Rehg testified that he realized that this "D-Mack" was Daryl Wilson, whom he knew, and that the car was most likely a Firebird.

  S/A Rehg contacted the United States Marshal's Service for assistance and waited near the station for the car to arrive. They observed a black Firebird come down Martin Luther King Drive, as though he had come off the Martin Luther King Bridge from St. Louis. The defendant crossed over Collinsville Avenue, (which the Court notes is the first intersection off the Bridge exit and approximately 4 blocks from the Marshal's offices in the Federal Courthouse in East St. Louis) slowed down and passed the Mobil Station, entering a parking lot adjoining the Mobil Station. The driver then backed his car into the parking lot. At that point, to be sure it was Wilson, S/A Rehg asked Deputy United States Marshal Thomas Woods to approach the car from behind and try to identify the driver. S/A Rehg testified that as Deputy Woods approached the car from the side, it lurched forward as another car pulled in front of the Firebird, and the defendant was then taken out of the car by Woods and handcuffed. S/A Rehg stated that he believed the defendant was attempting to get away from Deputy Woods, nearly hitting Deputy Woods and a police vehicle, in an attempt to flee the area.

  S/A Kent Weeks, DEA, testified that around noon on February 13, 2004, he and S/A Rehg met with Manfred McGee to discuss his knowledge of a delivery of cocaine which was to be made in the East St. Louis area. McGee identified the delivery person as "D-Mack" who lived in Alton, Illinois and had a second residence in Florissant, Missouri. S/A Weeks testified that McGee stated that D-Mack would be driving a black Firebird and bringing a half kilo of cocaine to East St. Louis. S/A Weeks was in the same car with S/A Rehg when the defendant arrived at the parking lot near the Mobil Station. He heard S/A Rehg ask Deputy Woods to approach the car and check out what the guy was doing there. He, too, observed the driver attempt to pull away as Deputy Woods approached the side of the car, in what he believed was an attempt to flee. There were, at that time, four, or possibly five, other Deputy Marshals around the area as they arrived at the scene. Deputy Woods testified that on February 13, 2004, he was asked to assist S/A Rehg and to approach a black Pontiac Firebird driven by "D-Mack," a black male, which whom Woods was not familiar. The car was near the Mobil Station in East St. Louis, and was believed to be there to deliver cocaine. Deputy Woods did not see the car enter the lot or park. As he approached the side of the car he made eye contact with the defendant who was in his car backed into a parking space to the east of the Mobil station. At that point, the defendant's car lurched and Deputy Woods thought he was going to be hit by the car. He drew his weapon and shouted to the defendant to stop. Deputy Woods testified that he was dressed in a bulletproof vest clearly marked with "police" and "U.S. Marshal" on it when he approached the defendant's car. As he approached the side of the car he made eye contact with the defendant. At the same time, another vehicle driven by Task Force Detective Hill pulled in front of the defendant's car. Deputy Woods thought the two cars were going to collide, but they did not. Deputy Woods opened the driver's side door and pulled the defendant out of the car. He was placed on the ground and handcuffed. Deputy Woods testified that TFD Hill also had his weapon drawn and pointed at the defendant. The defendant was transported to the United States Marshal's office in the Federal Building by another deputy.

  Task Force Detective Danny Hill, now with East St. Louis Police Department, testified that he had learned from S/A Rehg that a black male, approximately six-feet tall, driving a black car, possibly a TransAm, would be making a drug delivery at a Mobil Station in the area of Martin Luther King Drive and Collinsville Avenue. He was positioned about three blocks away from the Mobil Station, and he approached the front of the car as Deputy Woods approached the rear of the defendant's car. As Hill pulled in front of the car it lurched forward, and he then saw Deputy Woods with his weapon drawn yelling, "Police, police." The defendant's car was too close for Hill to get out of the driver's side, so he got on the other side to help to secure the scene. Hill testified that as the car lurched towards his police vehicle, he drew his weapon on the defendant.

  2. The Search of the Defendant's Car After the defendant was handcuffed, S/A Rehg, who had moved to the scene as the arrest was occurring from his position a half a block away, approached the Firebird and observed the individual lying on the ground. He recognized him as Daryl Wilson because he had met Wilson previously. As he approached the Firebird he saw a white plastic bag on the back seat on the passenger's side of the vehicle with at clear plastic bag inside in which he could see powder residue which he believed was cocaine. S/A Rehg testified that he believed it to be cocaine because the powder was packaged in the type of bag used for cocaine, and was approximately the size of one half kilogram of cocaine, the size of the delivery they were expecting. He seized the cocaine which was eventually sent to a lab for analysis. Wilson's car was driven to the underground garage of the U.S. Courthouse by a deputy marshal. It was hoped that Wilson would agree to cooperate, and therefore, his car was placed out of public view.

  S/A Weeks testified that once they arrived at the car, S/A Rehg went to the passenger's side of the back seat of the car as Weeks was clearing the driver's side, searching for weapons and drugs. S/A Rehg then directed Week's attention to the bag on the back seat of the car.

  3. Questioning of Wilson at the Courthouse and at DEA Offices.

  Once the defendant arrived at the Courthouse, he was taken into the Marshal's area and S/A Rehg read him his Miranda warnings and asked the defendant if he would cooperate. S/A Weeks was present when S/A Rehg read the defendant his Miranda rights at the Courthouse. S/A Rehg and Weeks both testified that the defendant was then asked if he wanted to cooperate in the drug investigation. The defendant agreed to cooperate, and, according to S/A Rehg, was acting very "mild-mannered." The defendant was then released, given the keys to his car, and allowed to drive his car to the Fairview Heights DEA office, because the Courthouse would be closing soon. Wilson agreed to follow them to the DEA office and was told by S/A Rehg that if he changed his mind and drove off in another direction, they would "catch up" with him later. The defendant followed S/A Rehg to the DEA offices where he was again given his Miranda warnings and was asked to sign a waiver ...


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