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United States v. Jenkins

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 30, 2014



DAVID R. HERNDON, Chief District Judge.

Pending before the Court is defendant Antoine Jenkins' ("Jenkins") motion to suppress search (Doc. 222). The Government has responded (Doc. 250). Upon review of the briefs, the Court determined that an evidentiary hearing was unnecessary as there do not appear to be any disputed issues of material fact (Doc. 253). For the following reasons, defendant's motion is DENIED in part and GRANTED in part.

I. Background

On January 28, 2012, as a part of a DEA investigation into a drug trafficking conspiracy, the DEA received several Title III interceptions over a phone used by co-defendant Tyrone Carraway ("Carraway") indicating that he and co-defendant Richard Graham were going to a barbershop to purchase cocaine. Approximately an hour after meeting at the barbershop, interceptions indicated that Jenkins wanted to meet up with Carraway. Carraway called him a short time later, told him to "come this way" and then met with Jenkins in a parking lot. DEA task Force officer called Illinois State Police Officer Jarrod Leckrone ("Leckrone") and asked Officer Leckrone to pull over Jenkins' car, a black Yukon, after he left the meeting in the parking lot.

The following facts are from Officer Leckrone's report as provided by defendant (Doc. 222 at 1-2). Officer Leckrone observed the black Yukon and noted that it had illegally tinted side windows and its temporary registration was partially falling off the vehicle. Officer Leckrone also saw that the driver was not wearing a seat belt. Officer Leckrone then pulled over the car and indicated to Jenkins that the above were the reasons for the stop. When Officer Leckrone pulled over Jenkins, he had no ID but identified himself. Jenkins also appeared extremely nervous, had difficulty talking, and his answers to questions did not make sense. As he moved closer to the vehicle, Officer Leckrone smelled an odor of burnt cannabis. Jenkins denied having anything illegal in the vehicle. Officer Leckrone had defendant step out of the vehicle. He then searched Jenkins and the car. He found several cell phones and a baggie containing cocaine in a plastic compartment under the dash. Defendant was then placed in handcuffs.

According to the Government, upon arrival at the police station, DEA SA McKnight took custody of the cocaine and examined the phones. He identified telephone number XXX-XXX-XXXX from one of the phones. He also observed a recent call in the phone "TY' XXX-XXX-XXXX."

TFO Shane Drazic and Officer Leckrone gave Jenkins his Miranda rights. Defendant said the truck belonged to his cousin and he did not know anything about the cocaine. He refused to provide any further information.

Defendant moves to suppress (Doc. 222) the evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search of Jenkins' car without a warrant. Defendant asserts that as a search incident to arrest, the police officer only had the authority to search defendant's person once the arrestee had been secured. Further, he argues that any post-arrest statements must also be suppressed as fruit of the poisonous tree. Finally, he asserts that any evidence resulting from the search of any cellular telephones seized by law enforcement officials should be suppressed as the Government did not have a warrant.

The Government responded (Doc. 250). The Government first asserts that the motion is untimely. In the alternative, the Government addresses the merits of the motion. Specifically the Government argues that the officer had probable cause to search the vehicle under one of three possible theories: the collective knowledge doctrine, the probable cause he established, or the inevitable discovery doctrine. Additionally, the Government asserts that any statements would be admissible as defendant was read his Miranda warnings. Finally, the Government argues that the cell phone number and any numbers in the call log were properly obtained.

II. Analysis

A. Timeliness

Defendant "waives any Rule 12(b)(3) defense, objection or request not raised by the deadline the court sets under Rule 12(c)." Fed. R. Crim. P. 12(e). "However the district court may, for good cause, grant relief from the waiver." United States v. Salahuddin, 509 F.3d 858, 860 (7th Cir. 2007) (internal citations and quotations omitted). "The pretrial motions requirement embodied in Rule 12 serves an important social policy and not a narrow, finicky procedural requirement...." Id. at 862. "Unique circumstances" are required to overcome the pretrial motion requirement. Id. at 860 (finding unique circumstances when the failure to file was due in large part to mutual misapprehension as to facts underlying juvenile conviction and neither the speed and efficiency of judicial process nor the fairness to Government appeared to be at stake). The Seventh Circuit reviews the District Court's decision for clear error. Id. at 860.

The Court finds good cause in this instance to grant relief from the waiver. The Court entered the order regarding pretrial discovery and motion practice on July 11, 2013 (Doc. 95). The order specifically states in section 5 that any motion to suppress shall be filed within 21 days of the arraignment (Doc. 95 at 2). Defendant was arraigned and appointed CJA attorney Turner Rouse that same day (Docs. 92, 125). Twenty-one days from the arraignment was August 1, 2013. Therefore, the motion is technically untimely. However, defendant filed a pro se motion for appointment of new attorney on April 2, 2014, indicating in the motion, and subsequent hearing, several concerns with his counsel, Mr. Rouse (Docs. 196, 209). Upon resolving the matter and denying the motion for appointment of new counsel, the Court granted defendant's oral motion for additional time to file pre-trial motions but ...

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