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United States v. Halliburton

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

January 10, 2018




         This matter is before the Court for a Report and Recommendation on Defendant Keith Halliburton's Motion to Suppress Evidence (d/e #15). Keith Halliburton (hereafter either “Halliburton” or “Defendant”) was charged by indictment with a single charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute (d/e #1). The parties stipulated to the evidence relating to the seizure (d/e #23) and thereby agree that the matter can be resolved without an evidentiary hearing. Accordingly, no hearing was held. The Court, after considering the parties' briefs, the applicable law, and the stipulated evidence, hereby recommends that the Motion should be DENIED.


         The evidence stipulation is included below in its entirety for ease of reference:

On March 4, 2016, United States Postal Inspector Keith Williams ("Insp. Williams") contacted the Decatur Police Department Street Crimes Unit and advised that two suspicious packages ("subject packages") were in route to 1404 E. Main, Decatur, Illinois ("subject premises"). On March 7, 2016, Insp. Williams intercepted the two packages and brought them to the Decatur Police Department ("DPD") where Detective Chad Larner ("Det. Larner") conducted a free air sniff with his certified police K-9 Neko. Neko gave positive alerts for controlled substances on both packages. The subject packages both contained the same return address in California and were addressed to Lisa Lawis at the subject premises. Officers were able to determine that the name Lisa Lawis was not associated with the subject premises.
On March 8, 2016, Insp. Williams obtained a federal search warrant for the subject packages from United States Magistrate Judge Eric Long. Upon executing the search warrants at the DPD, officers found approximately 2, 685 grams of marijuana in one package and approximately 5, 927 grams of marijuana in the other package. Officers removed most of the marijuana but left some in each package in anticipation of a controlled delivery of the subject packages.
On March 8, 2016, Detective Jeff Hockaday ("Det. Hockaday") of DPD obtained permission to install "a GPS tracking device and/ or monitoring device with a breakaway filament" in both subject packages in Macon County Circuit Court. Det. Hockaday also obtained anticipatory search warrants for the delivery of the subject packages.
Prior to the delivery of the subject packages law enforcement officers had determined that the defendant had been associated with the subject premises in 2015 via a water bill, the defendant had been associated with another package containing marijuana in 2014, and the defendant was currently in federal custody at a halfway house for a drug trafficking offense. Based on this information, officers had obtained and circulated a picture of the defendant, in anticipation of the fact that he might be the intended recipient of the subject packages. In addition, when the bureau of prisons assigned the defendant to a halfway house in the area Det. Hockaday personally met with the defendant in an attempt by the defendant to cooperate with law enforcement. Based on this meeting, Det. Hockaday could identify the defendant.
At approximately 2:45 PM on March 8, 2016, USPIS Josh Bergeron (Insp. Bergeron) delivered the subject packages while dressed as a United States Postal carrier. Insp. Bergeron placed the boxes on the porch of the subject premises after receiving no response from anyone inside the residence. Officers in the area remained on surveillance. At approximately 3:20 PM, officers observed a silver Volkswagen arrive at the residence. The description of the sole occupant of the vehicle matched the defendant's description. Officers then observed the defendant exit the silver Volkswagen, proceed to the porch of the subject premises and pick up the subject packages. The defendant then stood on the porch of the subject premises and examined the subject packages before taking both packages back to his vehicle and leaving the area.
Surveillance officers followed the defendant directly to 849 N. Dunham in Decatur. During this time officers established the silver Volkswagen was registered to the defendant at an address in Springfield, IL. At 849 N. Dunham, officers observed the defendant's vehicle parked in the driveway next to a white Pontiac van. The Pontiac van had its doors open. Officers then saw the defendant reaching into the back of his vehicle, where he had earlier placed the subject packages. After about 10 minutes, surveillance officers saw the defendant leave 849 N. Dunham in his silver Volkswagen. The doors to the white Pontiac van were now closed. Insp. Bergeron advised the other members of the investigation that the tracking devices placed inside the subject packages indicated that they were no longer in the defendant's vehicle but had been transferred to the white Pontiac van and remained at 849 N. Dunham.
Shortly after the defendant left 849 N. Dunham, Det. Larner conducted an investigatory stop on the defendant's vehicle. The entirety of the stop and the conversation between Det. Larner and the defendant was audio/video recorded by Det. Larner's in-car camera. At approximately 3:40 PM, Det. Larner made contact after pulling the defendant over. Det. Larner took (sic) advised the defendant of his Miranda rights, at which time the defendant waived his rights and agreed to cooperate with officers. The defendant advised Det. Larner that the packages were meant for him (the defendant), they contained marijuana, and he had placed them in the white Pontiac van at 849 N. Dunham. Det. Larner drove the defendant back to 849 N. Dunham, arriving at approximately 3:54 PM.
At approximately 3:56 PM, Det. Hockaday met with the defendant and began questioning him. The defendant gave verbal and written permission to search the entire premises of 849 N. Dunham and provided Det. Hockaday with the keys to the white Pontiac van so officers could search it. The defendant also gave Insp. Williams verbal permission to search the white Pontiac van. After beginning to search the residence, Det. Hockaday returned to the marked police SUV and retrieved the key to the van the defendant had supplied so that officers could unlock the van in order to search it. At some time after 4:07 PM, officers used the key supplied by the defendant to unlock the van and began their search. While searching the van officers recovered the evidence underlying the charges in this case. At no time did the defendant open either of the subject packages.


         Halliburton's motion is focused on the conditions precedent to the warrant. Specifically, Defendant argues that the triggering conditions for the anticipatory warrant never occurred, asserting that the warrant was contingent on Defendant accepting delivery of the package on behalf of Lisa Lawis and opening the package ...

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