United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Johnson Coleman Judge
defendant, Jackie Edwards, is charged with being a felon in
possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). Edwards now moves this Court to suppress the
evidence that was recovered as a result of a traffic stop and
the subsequent search of Edwards' person and car that
occurred on November 15, 2017. For the reasons set forth,
that motion  is denied.
following facts are undisputed by the parties unless
otherwise noted. On November 3, 2017, DEA agents began the
judicially sanctioned interception of communications over a
telephone known to be used by Edwards. Between that time and
November 15, 2017, DEA agents intercepted over 900 calls and,
from those calls, came to believe that Edwards was involved
in drug trafficking in the Chicago area. On November 14,
2017, officers intercepted a call which suggested that
Edwards was carrying a pistol. Officers also knew, from
numerous intercepted calls, that Edwards had been informed
that an unknown individual intended to rob him and that
Edwards was actively seeking out this individual in order to
the evening of November 14, 2017, officers intercepted a call
indicating that one of Edwards' contacts would be picking
up a drug-related payment from Edwards' house the next
morning. Chicago-based DEA agents initiated surveillance of
Edwards' house early on the morning of November 15th. The
individual in question arrived around 10AM, entered the house
with a brown bag, and left soon thereafter with a plastic
shopping bag and a brown bag. That individual was
subsequently pulled over, and found to be in possession of
approximately $30, 000 in cash.
an interview with the individual, the DEA task force
initiated the process to obtain a search warrant for
Edwards' residence. The officers involved assert that the
final draft of the warrant was completed before Edwards was
stopped, but it is undisputed that the warrant was not signed
by a judge until after the stop occurred. Because the DEA
believed Edwards was armed, it was decided that if he left
his house mobile surveillance would be conducted in order to
ensure that he did not return home, potentially armed, during
the execution of the search warrant.
left his house in a white Land Rover registered in his name
and traveled to the vicinity of 69th and Racine Avenue where,
unbeknownst to the officers, Edwards owned a business. After
Edwards made four consecutive right turns (essentially
circling the block around his business), the supervising
agent initiated an investigatory stop. The agents activated
their lights and sirens, and Edwards pulled over on the right
side of the road in front of his business.
the parties disagree about the extent of Edwards'
compliance with officer's instructions, it is undisputed
that Edwards was forcibly removed from the car and taken to
the ground to be handcuffed. During this struggle, Officer
Campbell felt something hard and solid in Edward's coat
pocket. Edwards was subsequently frisked for weapons, and a
loaded pistol was found in his coat pocket. It is undisputed
that the officers did not observe Edwards violate any laws,
that they did not have a warrant for his arrest, and that
they did not have a warrant to search his person or his
Terry v. Ohio, the Supreme Court noted that not all
interactions between policemen and citizens require probable
cause, and that police officers can stop and detain
individuals for certain investigative purposes. Terry v.
Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 19 n. 16, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d
889 (1968). Terry stops are permissible when a
police officer has a reasonable suspicion, supported by
articulable facts, that criminal activity has or is likely to
occur. Id. at 21-22. While reasonable suspicion
requires less than probable cause, it requires more than a
mere hunch. United States v. Bullock, 632 F.3d 1004,
1012 (7th Cir. 2011). The Seventh Circuit has held that the
determination of whether an officer has a reasonable
suspicion is to be based on “the totality of the
circumstances” and “common-sensical judgments and
inferences about human behavior.” United States v.
Baskin, 401 F.3d 788, 791 (7th Cir. 2005) (quoting
Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119, 125, 120 S.Ct.
673, 145 L.Ed.2d 570 (2000)); United States v.
Ienco, 182 F.3d 517, 523 (7th Cir. 1999) (citing
United States v. Quinn, 83 F.3d 917, 921 (7th Cir.
1996)). An officer conducting a Terry stop may pat
down a suspect in order to search for weapons, but only if
“specific and articulable facts” support a
suspicion that the suspect is armed and presents a danger to
officers or to others. United States v. Shoals, 478
F.3d 850, 853 (7th Cir. 2007).
resolving a motion to suppress evidence, a district court is
not required to hold an evidentiary hearing as a matter of
course. Instead, a hearing need only be held when the
allegations and moving papers are “sufficiently
definite, specific, non-conjectural and detailed enough to
conclude that a substantial claim is presented and that there
are disputed issues of material fact which will affect the
outcome of the motion. United States v. Villegas,
388 F.3d 317, 324 (7th Cir. 2004).
parties appear to agree that Edwards was pulled over in what
amounted to a Terry stop. Edwards does not appear to
challenge the pat down that followed the stop, and thus the
sole question before this Court is whether the traffic stop
here constituted a constitutionally permissible
contends that the information available to the officers was
insufficient to support a reasonable suspicion that criminal
activity had occurred or was likely to occur. Specifically,
Edwards asserts that “[a] telephone intercept from the
day before the arrest, a criminal conviction from 20 years
ago, and a suspicion that Edwards would be travelling with ...