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United States v. Waltower

June 1, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
STEPHEN WALTOWER, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David H. Coar United States District Judge

Honorable David H. Coar

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before this Court is Defendant Stephen Waltower's ("Defendant") motion to suppress. Defendant does not seek a hearing on the motion. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion to suppress is DENIED.

I. Background

On September 6, 2007, a Circuit Court of Cook County judge issued a search warrant for the first floor and basement of 161 N. Lamon Ave. in Chicago, authorizing the seizure of a black 9-millimeter handgun, ammunition, and documents related to residency. The warrant was supported by the sworn complaint ("the Complaint") of Chicago Police Office David Greenwood and a confidential informant.

According to the Complaint, on September 6, the informant contacted Officer Greenwood and other members of Project Safe Neighborhoods with information about an encounter with an individual known as "Skeet." The informant said that on or about September 3, 2007, he had met "Skeet" at the residence located at 161 N. Lamon Ave. He described "Skeet" as a male African American, five feet and eight inches tall, and 160 pounds. The informant was let into a bedroom in the basement of the building, and stated that the basement and first floor together composed a single apartment. "Skeet" showed the informant a black semiautomatic handgun with an extended magazine capable of holding additional 9 millimeter rounds, and explained that the weapon was for protection. "Skeet" then returned the weapon to the bedroom.

The Complaint further noted that Officer Greenwood used the Chicago Police Department ("CPD") database to generate a picture of Defendant, which the informant viewed and identified as "Skeet," and that a criminal background check revealed that Defendant had a prior felony drug conviction. Officer Greenwood also showed the informant a picture from the Cook County Assessor's website of 161 N. Lamon Ave., which the informant positively identified as the location where his encounter took place. Upon examining the Complaint, Circuit Court of Cook County Judge Nick Ford issued the warrant.

On September 7, 2007, CPD officers executed the warrant and recovered the following items from a bedroom on the first floor:

1. A loaded Glock Model 19, 9-millimeter caliber pistol, serial number GHP572, with nine rounds of 9 millimeter caliber bullets;

2. 221 baggies of substance in the form of crack cocaine that later tested positive for the presence of cocaine base and sodium bicarbonate;

3. a suspected drug ledger;

4. a scale and coffee mixer containing what appeared to be drug residue;

5. $640 in United States currency;

6. 37 rounds of various types of ...


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