United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
CHARLES RONALD NORGLE JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence  is denied.
Lamorris Gist has filed a motion to quash arrest and suppress
evidence in relation to a vehicle traffic stop and subsequent
search that took place on August 11, 2018. Defendant was a
passenger in that car at the time of the stop and search. The
search allegedly revealed that Defendant was carrying a
plastic bag in his pocket with 30 .45 caliber rounds, one 9
mm round, and one .22 caliber round. Defendant was later
indicted for a violation of Title 18, United States Code,
Section 922(g)(1) (possession of a firearm by a felon).
filed the instant motion on April 24, 2019, and it was fully
briefed as of June 18, 2019. The Court has deferred ruling on
the motion since that time to allow defense counsel to
attempt to locate and serve a subpoena on the driver of the
vehicle-Maurice House, who is also Defendant's
stepbrother. Defendant has been unable to locate
House. For the following reasons, the Court now
denies the motion.
counsel's and the Government's recounting of the
relevant factual circumstances are largely consistent based
on those facts presented to the Court that are specific,
detailed, and nonconjectural. The only inconsistencies are
immaterial to the determination of this motion (a point
discussed further below).
August 11, 2018, at approximately 9:45 p.m., Defendant was in
the backseat of a grey Infiniti that was traveling on
westbound 1-90. Affidavit of Def., ¶ 4. The vehicle and
its passengers were returning to Chicago from Indiana, where
they had spent several days visiting the driver House's
stepfather. Id. The car was pulled over by police,
who indicated in reports that they had "paced" the
car (that is, accelerated their car to the same speed as the
target car and then checked the speedometer in the police car
in order to determine the target car's speed). Gov't
Br. 2. Based on this pacing technique, police
indicated that the Infiniti was traveling at 73 miles per
hour in a 55 miles per hour zone. Id. Dash camera
footage also shows the Infiniti changing lanes at a high rate
of speed. Gov't Br. 6. Defendant, in an affidavit
submitted in support of this motion, states the following
with respect to the vehicle's speed:
6. Your Affiant [Defendant] further states that the Grey
Infinity [sic] in which he was a passenger was traveling at
the same rate of speed as the rest of the traffic on
Westbound on the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Affidavit of Def., ¶ 6. After pacing the vehicle at 73
miles per hour and observing it rapidly change lanes,
Illinois State Trooper Vincent Martinez pulled the car over.
Martinez approached the car on the passenger side and
"immediately smelted the distinct odor of marijuana
emanating from the vehicle." Gov't Br. 2. He then
returned to his squad to run checks on the individuals in the
vehicle. Shortly thereafter, as Martinez was performing
routine traffic inquiries on the driver and occupants,
additional Illinois State Police troopers arrived on the
point, Martinez asked the other troopers to get House (the
driver) out of the car and bring him to Martinez's squad
car. Id. Martinez informed House that he was giving
him a warning, and asked him about where they were coming
from and other similar questions. The following exchange then
Trooper Martinez: Listen, we're part of a criminal
interdiction team, okay, we're out here because of all
the highway shootings and all that, you know, trying to get
guns and drugs off the street. You got nothing illegal in
that car, correct?
Trooper Martinez: No. guns, no drugs?
Trooper Martinez: You guys smoking a little bit earlier?
Trooper Martinez: Ok. 'cause I can smell it in the car...
Trooper Martinez: ... a little bit. Alright? Not a big deal,
alright? Not out here to, just a little bit in the car, I
don't care. Alright? Like I said, we're not out here
for, for grams. Alright? We're out here for ...