United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Argued: March 4, 2015.
For Kemepaudor Ekiyor, Defendant: William W. Swor, Detroit, MI.
For United States of America, Plaintiff: Carl D. Gilmer-Hill, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Detroit, MI.
PRESENT: Honorable Gerald E. Rosen, Chief United States District Judge.
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION REQUESTING DISCLOSURE OF BRADY MATERIAL
Honorable Gerald E. Rosen Chief Judge, United States District Court.
At a session of said Court, held in the U.S. Courthouse, Detroit, Michigan on March 4, 2015
Defendant Kemepaudor Ekiyor is charged in a December 16, 2014 indictment with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(ii), and one count of importation of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § § 952 and 960(b)(1)(B). These charges stem from allegations that as Defendant was traveling from Nigeria to his home in Ottawa, Canada with connections in Amsterdam and at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, federal law enforcement agents at the Detroit airport discovered more than six kilograms of cocaine in a locked suitcase bearing a luggage tag with Defendant's name, with Defendant subsequently found to be in possession of a key that opened this locked suitcase.
Through the present motion filed on February 11, 2015, Defendant seeks to compel the Government to disclose information purportedly in the possession of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration
(" DEA" ) and other federal agencies relating to the smuggling of drugs by baggage handlers. In Defendant's view, the Government's disclosure of this information is required under the authority of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 92 S.Ct. 763, 31 L.Ed.2d 104 (1972), and their progeny, where this information either will help to exculpate Defendant or will assist in the impeachment of Government witnesses. The Government filed a response in opposition to this motion on February 25, 2015, observing that Defendant has been given the names and docket numbers of two recent cases in this District in which airport baggage handlers have been charged with drug smuggling activities, and arguing that any further disclosures sought in Defendant's motion would exceed the scope of the Brady materiality standard.
On March 2, 2015, the Court addressed this matter on the record during the opening day of Defendant's trial. For the reasons stated on the record at the March 2 hearing, as supplemented by the rulings below, the Court denies Defendant's motion.
II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
According to the criminal complaint and accompanying affidavit through which the Government commenced the present proceeding, federal agents of the Department of Homeland Security (" DHS" ) and Customs and Border Protection (" CBP" ) were inspecting baggage that had arrived on a September 26, 2014 Delta Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit Metropolitan Airport when they came across a locked travel bag with a Delta Airlines luggage tag affixed to it bearing the name of Defendant Kemepaudor Ekiyor. Upon cutting the lock to gain access to the bag, the agents found six bundles of a white ...