United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
PHIL GILBERT, DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on defendant Scott A. Way's
motion to suppress evidence (Doc. 28) and motion to suppress
statements (Doc. 29). The Government filed a timely response
to the motions. (Doc. 38.) The Court held a motion hearing on
September 6, 2017. At the conclusion of the hearing, the
Court reserved ruling on the matter in order to give the
defendant time to file a supplemental brief. The Court gave
the defendant 14 days to file the brief after receiving the
transcript from the hearing. The defendant received the
transcript on October 17, 2017, but has not filed another
facts of this case focus on two people: defendant Scott Way
and his alleged co-conspirator, Natasha Mann. There is a
lengthy backstory regarding the purported drug activities of
the two, but the relevant facts for the purposes of this
motion start on March 17 and 18, 2016: when a U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent notified the
Southern Illinois Enforcement Group (SIEG) that ICE had
intercepted two packages of MDMA pills at Chicago O'Hare
International Airport. Both packages were addressed to Mann.
the tip, SIEG agents obtained an anticipatory search warrant
of Mann's house. On the morning of March 22, 2016-while
the agents were in the final preparation stages to execute
the warrant-they learned that the post office had intercepted
two more packages of MDMA addressed to Mann. At 10:45 AM that
morning, the postal inspector delivered all four of the
packages to Mann's mailbox. The agents set up a
surveillance perimeter around her residence and waited for
Mann to retrieve the packages.
that day, Way arrived at Mann's residence in his vehicle.
The two left without checking the mailbox. They returned
several hours later-around the same time that a school bus
dropped off Mann's children-and Way dropped Mann off at
her home. Way then departed alone. Four of the surveillance
agents-Dill, Kelly, Halliday, and Sneed-followed Way. Agent
Dill radioed and asked an Illinois State Police
Trooper-Jeremy Wynn-to travel behind the surveillance units
in case a traffic stop became necessary and possible.
more agents-Blake, Cunningham, and Thompson-remained behind
to observe Mann. Mann subsequently removed all four packages
from her mailbox, placed them inside her vehicle, and drove
away with her children in tow. Curiously, she stopped
abruptly in the roadway, and this prompted one of the agents
to approach the vehicle and attempt to arrest her. When Mann
saw the agent, however, she threw three of the packages out
of her car. In a reckless attempt to flee, she then rammed
her car directly into the driver's side door of a nearby
police cruiser (with her children still in her vehicle) and
sped away. The agents lost sight of Mann after attempting to
follow her for less than a mile.
gears: when the agents tailing Way heard about what happened
with Mann, they “focused intently on Way's vehicle,
hoping that he would commit a traffic violation so that they
could stop Way and seek his assistance in apprehending
Mann.” (Gov.'s Resp. to Def.'s Mot. 8.)
Government next claims that Agent Dill observed Way make an
illegal lane change without activating his turn signal. This
prompted Agent Dill to ask Trooper Wynn to stop Way. Once
Trooper Wynn initiated the traffic stop, Agent Dill left his
car and approached the scene.
suppression hearing, Agent Dill testified that when he
approached Way's vehicle, he could smell the odor of
“burnt cannabis” from several feet away. (Tr.
37:19-21.) Agent Dill then asked Way to get out of the car.
Agent Dill also testified that he asked Way if he had
recently possessed or consumed cannabis. (Tr. 39:4-10.) Way
answered “yes”-four hours prior to the traffic
stop. Id. Agent Dill also claimed that he asked Way
whether he had a valid prescription for medical cannabis.
(Tr. 39:17-21.) Way replied that he did not. Agent Dill then
asked Trooper Wynn to search the vehicle.
vehicle, Wynn found a large heat-sealed bag which appeared to
contain marijuana wax. (Tr. 39:22-40:6.) The agents also
seized an iPhone, a digital scale, a black Samsung cellphone,
and $612 in U.S. currency. (Tr. 40:8-18.) Dill then explained
to Way that the agents knew of Way's activities with
Mann, that they needed his help to set up a meeting with her
at the local Dollar General, and that the agents wanted to
discuss Way's prior MDMA activities with Mann. (Tr.
40:19-41:9.) After a delay to consider the request, Way
agreed to help set up the Dollar General rendezvous and
called Mann. Following the call, officers transported Way to
the Marion Police Department.
enforcement officers interviewed Way twice while he was in
custody. The first occurred the day that the agents took Way
to the station: March 22, 2017. The Government claims that
SIEG Agent Chris Kelly and DEA Special Agent Jeff Konvalinka
provided Way with notice of his Miranda rights prior to this
interrogation, but the defense contests this: in fact, the
Government has been unable to provide a copy of the Miranda
warnings and waiver that the defendant allegedly initialed on
this occasion. The second interrogation occurred on March 23
at the Williamson County Jail. The Government did give Way
his Miranda rights prior to this interrogation, and the
waiver is attached as an exhibit to the Government's
the second interrogation, the agents asked Way to consent to
a search of his apartment in Carbondale. He consented. That
document is also attached as an exhibit to the
Government's response. The Government later seized ten
items from the apartment: (1) six heat-sealed bags containing
approximately 985.7 grams of marihuana; (2) one plastic bag
containing approximately 12.3 grams of suspected
“meth/molly”; (3) two bags containing
approximately 12.4 grams of suspected cocaine; (4) one $5
bill containing approximately 0.l gram of suspected cocaine
residue; (5) 12 new half-pint mason jars; (6) miscellaneous
drug paraphernalia; (7) one new box of FoodSaver brand
heat-seal vacuum bags; (8) a FoodSaver brand vacuum-sealer;
(9) a Volcano Vaporizer machine in black case; and (10)
miscellaneous receipts. (Gov.'s Resp. to Def.'s Mot.