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United States v. Bradley

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

August 26, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
QUENTIN D. BRADLEY, Defendant.

          OPINION

          RICHARD MILLS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Quentin D. Bradley filed a motion to quash search warrant and suppress evidence.

         After conducting a hearing on the motion, United States Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins entered a Report and Recommendation wherein he recommended that the Defendant's motion be denied.

         The Defendant has filed objections to the Report and Recommendation.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), the Court will make a de novo determination of the portions of the report to which objection is made.

         I.

         The issue concerns whether a delay of nearly five months between the time that police officers took possession of one of the Defendant's cell phones and sought a search warrant was reasonable. Mattoon, Illinois police officers took possession of the subject phone on December 7, 2016, and FBI Special Agent David Harmon did not seek a warrant until May 2, 2017.

         The Defendant claims that the data found on the subject phone should be suppressed on the basis that the search of the subject phone violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. He alleges Harmon and FBI Special Agent Christopher Bockelman waited too long before seeking a warrant to search the subject phone. The Defendant contends the delay was unreasonable and the subsequent search pursuant to the warrant violated his rights.

         The magistrate judge notes the Defendant states in an affidavit that, after he was taken into custody, he spoke to his mother, Sharee Dozier, and asked her to retrieve the subject phone. Dozier states in her affidavit that she called the Mattoon Police Department three times and the Sangamon County Jail once to request the return of the subject phone. The magistrate judge found that the Sangamon County Jail and Coles County Jail (where Defendant was later housed) recorded all inmate calls. The Sangamon County Jail recorded 11 calls between Bradley and Dozier. Harmon listened to all of those phone calls, none of which included a request to retrieve the subject phone or any other phone. Harmon also advised that none of the Mattoon police officials he talked to recalled anyone requesting any of the Defendant's personal property.

         The magistrate judge found that it was more likely than not that Defendant did not seek the return of the subject phone. The statements of the Defendant and Dozier in their affidavits are not credible. In the recorded phone calls, the Defendant never asked his mother to retrieve the subject phone.

         II.

         The Defendant objects to the finding in the report that his affidavits were not credible. He states it is entirely reasonable to believe he asked for the subject phone back from the Mattoon police when he was released from their custody on the night of December 7, 2016, especially after he refused consent to let police access its contents. The Defendant further claims that Harmon's double hearsay testimony that several Mattoon officers did not recall the Defendant asking for its return, without explaining why it would be credible those officers would recall such a minor event well over two years later, is not entitled to significant weight.

         While it is possible that more than two years later police officers would not remember a minor detail such as a request for the return of a phone upon his release on December 7, 2016, the evidence technician and former lieutenant of investigations reported there also are no records of a such a request being made. Because there is no corroborating evidence, the Court agrees with the magistrate judge's finding that it is more likely than not that Defendant did not ask for the subject phone upon being released on December 7, 2016.

         The Court also agrees with the magistrate judge's finding it is more likely than not that Defendant did not ask Dozier to retrieve his phone when he was not in custody between December 7 and 22, 2016. Such an ...


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