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United States v. Beard-Hawkins

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 16, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVID L. BRADFORD and DELENTHEGIA BEARD-HAWKINS, Defendants.

ORDER

DAVID R. HERNDON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on two related motions: (1) defendant David Bradford's motion for disclosure of confidential informants, informers and cooperating individuals (Doc. 40) and (2) the government's motion for an order relating to the disclosure of application and affidavit for search warrant (Doc. 46). Responses have been filed (Doc. 49 and Doc. 51). For the reasons discussed herein, Bradford's motion for disclosure is DENIED (Doc. 40) and the government's motion for disclosure (Doc. 46) is GRANTED.

FURTHER, the Court Re-Sets the deadline for filing pre-trial motions as to both defendants; the defendants are ALLOWED until May 1, 2015 for the filing of any pretrial motions.

I. ANALYSIS

A. Government's Motion for an Order Relating to Disclosure of June 9th Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant (Doc. 46)

A search warrant was issued by Magistrate Judge Williams in Companion Case No. 14-mj-7045-SCW on June 9, 2014. The Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant, and the Search Warrant, were ordered filed under seal by Magistrate Judge Williams until further order of the court for the reasons stated in the Order authorizing sealing (Case No. 14-mj-7045-SCW, Doc. 5). Motions are currently pending before Judge Williams pertaining to the June 9th Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant and the June 9th Search Warrant.

The government maintains that the Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant should not be available in the public record at this time. However, the United States is aware that defense counsel needs the Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant to determine whether to file pretrial motions and to prepare for trial. The United States submits that this need may be met by the United States providing a redacted version of the Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant to counsel for Mr. Bradford and Ms. Beard-Hawkins, with the condition that the Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant be handled by counsel in accordance with this Honorable Court's Protective Order relating to discovery (Doc. 30).

The Court agrees and ORDERS as follows:

The government is ORDERED to provide defense counsel a redacted copy of the Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant in Case No. 14-mj-7045-SCW.

FURTHER, defense counsel is directed to handle the Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant pursuant to this Court's Protective Order entered on February 2, 2015 (Doc. 30).

B. Bradford's Motion for Disclosure - Identities of Informants, Informers and Cooperating Individuals (Doc. 40)

1. Overview

Bradford moves for the entry of an order directing the Government to furnish counsel with the names and identifying information of any confidential sources referred to in any affidavit in support of a search warrant for the defendant's residence or utilized in forming reasonable suspicion or probable cause relied upon in arresting or detaining Bradford (Doc. 40). In addition, Bradford seeks relevant discovery related to the history and past reliability of the subject confidential sources (Doc. 40).

More specifically, Bradford seeks disclosure of confidential sources in relation to the following: (1) a search warrant executed on a residence occupied by Bradford on or about March 6, 2014; (2) a search warrant executed on a residence occupied by Bradford on June 9, 2014; (3) a narcotics transaction occurring on April 18, 2014; and (4) a narcotics transaction occurring on April 29, 2014 (Doc. 40).

Bradford requests this information for use in two potential contexts: (1) cross-examination at trial and (2) challenges to probable cause determinations for search warrants and the arrest of Bradford (Doc. 40).

2. Cross-Examination

As to the first context, the Court finds that the request is premature. The government acknowledges its obligations under Brady and Giglio. [1] The government informs the Court that if testimony of confidential sources is anticipated it shall provide defense counsel with the appropriate information sufficiently in advance of trial. Accordingly, this request is DENIED without prejudice as premature.

3. Probable Cause Determinations: The Court addresses each probable cause argument in turn below.

March 6, 2014 Search Warrant: A search warrant was issued by Magistrate Judge Wilkerson in Companion Case No. 3:14-mj-3014-DGW on March 6, 2014. Representations from the government (Doc. 51) and the record in the companion case indicate that the March 6th Search Warrant did not rely on confidential sources. Accordingly, the motion as it relates to the March 6th Search Warrant, is DENIED moot.

June 9th Search Warrant: Bradford seeks disclosure of the identity of any confidential source whose information was used in the application and affidavit for search warrant filed on June 9, 2014. The government contends the motion is premature and that the defendant has not overcome the government's limited privilege to withhold the identity of a confidential informant. Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53, 59 (1957). The Court agrees, the motion as it relates to the June 9th Search Warrant is DENIED without prejudice.

April 2014 Narcotics Transactions: Bradford seeks disclosure of the identity of any confidential source involved in the April 18, 2014 and April 29, 2014 narcotics transactions. For the reasons stated in the governments responsive pleading (Doc 51), the Court finds that Bradford has failed to show that the identity of any such individual is relevant to a probable cause determination. Accordingly, the motion as it relates to the April 2014 Narcotics Transactions is DENIED.

C. Related Matters

1. Disclosure - Application and Affidavit for March 6, 2014 Search Warrant

Bradford's response to the government's motion references a search warrant issued on or about March 6, 2014. The application and affidavit for the March 6th search warrant, and the March 6th search warrant, were ordered filed under seal until further order of the court in Companion Case No. 3:14-mj-3014-DGW (Doc. 5). On October 30, 2014, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson issued an order directing that the search warrant be unsealed, but that the application and affidavit for search warrant remain sealed up to and including April 30, 2015 (Case No. 3:14-mj-3014-DGW Doc. 10). On April 7, 2015, the government filed a sealed motion regarding the application and affidavit for search warrant (3:14-mj-3014-DGW Doc. 12). On April 16, 2015, Judge Wilkerson issued an order directing the application and affidavit for search warrant to be unsealed and made a part of the public record.

In light of the above, the Court directs the government to provide the defendants' counsel with copies of the application and affidavit for search warrant.

2. Filing of Pre-Trial Motions

In light of the Court's resolution of pending motions in the instant case and of the order unsealing the Application and Affidavit for the March 6, 2014 Search Warrant in Companion Case No. 3:14-mj-3014-dgw (Doc. 13), the defendants should now have access to the material necessary for filing pretrial motions and to prepare for trial. Accordingly, the Court Re-Sets the deadline for filing pre-trial motions as to both defendants; the defendants are ALLOWED until May 1, 2015 for the filing of any pretrial motions.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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