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United States v. Halliburton

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

February 1, 2018




         Before the Court is Magistrate Judge Eric Long's Report and Recommendation (d/e 27) that recommends denying Defendant Keith Halliburton's Pretrial Motion to Suppress Evidence (d/e 15). The Court ADOPTS Magistrate Judge Long's Report and Recommendation (d/e 27) and DENIES Defendant's Motion to Suppress (d/e 15).

         I. BACKGROUND

         The parties have stipulated to the facts in lieu of an evidentiary hearing. See Stipulation (d/e 23). For ease of reference, the evidence stipulation is again included below in its entirety:

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.

         In the Motion to Suppress, the Defendant argues that the triggering conditions for the anticipatory warrant did not occur. Defs. Mot. at 7-10 (d/e 15). Specifically, the Defendant argues that the warrant was contingent on the Defendant accepting delivery of the package on behalf of Lisa Lawis and opening the package upon delivery. Id. The Defendant argues that neither event happened, so the warrant could not be executed. Therefore, the detention and arrest of the Defendant was unlawful and any incriminating statements he made-and, presumably, the consents that he gave to search the van and the house-were “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Defs. Mot. at 11. (d/e 15).

         The Government argues that the anticipatory search warrant was properly executed and that there was no requirement that the packages be opened before the warrant could be executed. Gov't Resp. at 6-9 (d/e 21). Further, even if the anticipatory search warrants were not properly executed, the Defendant consented to the search after a valid traffic stop. Id. at 13.

         In the Report and Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Long found that the warrant, when taken with the application, was valid and defined two conditions precedent: (1) “the agents needed to ‘attempt to deliver the aforementioned Priority Mail package to 1404 E. Main St., Deactur, IL'”; and (2) “the agents required delivery to an adult willing to accept delivery on behalf of ‘Lisa Lawis.'” Report and Recommendation at 6 (d/e 27). In finding both of the conditions were met, Magistrate Judge Long also rejected Defendant's argument that the packages needed to be opened in order to execute the warrant. Id. at 7. Alternatively, Magistrate Judge Long found that had the conditions precedent to the warrant not been triggered, the Defendant still consented to both searches after a lawful Terry stop. Id. at 8.

         II. ANALYSIS

         This Court must review de novo those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which timely objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). On January 24, 2018, the Defendant timely filed his Objections to the Report and Recommendation (d/e 29). The Defendant objects to Magistrate Judge Long's findings that the triggering events for the anticipatory search warrant occurred and that the evidence supports a finding that the Defendant consented to the searches in question after a legally executed Terry stop. After reviewing the Report and Recommendation, the Court denies the Defendant's Objections and adopts Magistrate Judge Long's Report and Recommendation.

         A. The Conditions Precedent to the Execution of the Warrant Occurred After the Package was Delivered and the Defendant ...

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