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United States v. Curry

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

July 17, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIE CURRY (D-1), Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY AND DENYING PRO SE MOTION TO SUPPRESS

DENISE PAGE HOOD, District Judge.

I. BACKGROUND

A First Superseding Indictment was issued on June 24, 2014 charging Defendants Willie Riley Curry and Tammy Denise Pollard with: Production of Child Pornography, 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) (Counts One (Curry), Two (Curry) and Three (Curry and Pollard)); Conspiracy to Engage in Sex Trafficking of Children, 18 U.S.C. § 1594(c) (Count Four (Curry and Pollard)); Sex Trafficking of Children, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591(a) and (b) (Counts Five and Six (Curry and Pollard)); Attempted Sex Trafficking of Children, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591(a) and (b), 1594(a) and 2 (Count Seven (Curry and Pollard)); and, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (Count Eight) (Curry). (Doc. No. 47)

In August 2013, the Indictment alleges that Defendants induced three minor victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depiction of such conduct and that such depiction was produced and transmitted using materials transported through interstate and foreign commerce. It is noted that as to Defendant Curry, the Court has entered Orders: denying a Motion for Bond and Mooting Motion for Discovery (Doc. No. 71); denying Motion to Suppress Evidence Seized by Federal Agents at the Warwick address (Doc. No. 75); denying Motion to Appoint New Counsel (Doc. No. 76); appointing new counsel (Doc. No. 93); and denying Motions to Compel, to Suppress and Dismiss (Doc. No. 94).

This matter is before another Motion to Compel filed by defense counsel and a Pro Se Motion to Suppress filed by Curry. The Government filed responses to the motion and a hearing was held on the matter.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Motion to Compel Discovery

Defense counsel, on behalf of Curry, filed a Motion to Compel Discovery seeking texts, emails Facebook posting and other communications between the three alleged victims; any video or audio recording of victim interviews; identification of victim V1's seven boyfriends; texts, emails or phone calls made by any of the three victims from phones belonging to Tammy Pollard, Tammy Chamberlain and Tom Sweet; and, court orders or documentation for the commitment of the three alleged victims to juvenile detention. Curry argues that the communication between the victims and others during the two weeks when the victims ran away from detention is crucial to their credibility. It was after the victims ran from the group outing while in detention that the incident at issue occurred.

The Government responds that it has produced all materials "in the government's possession" that are responsive to Curry's motion. The Government asserts that much of the discovery sought by Curry is not in its possession, such as social media postings. The Government claims it has no materials such as texts, emails, Facebook postings or other communications between the victims. None of the victim interviews were audio or video recorded. The Government asserts that it has no information as to V1's seven boyfriends. Only two cell phones were seized during the October 23, 2013 search. The Government does not have in its possession any cell phones belonging to Tammy Chamberlain or Tom Sweet.

Specifically, the Government asserts it has produced to Curry: 1) the forensic reports for two separate cell phones, including Curry's phone; 2) the text messages sent and received by Curry's phone produced by Metro-PCS pursuant to a search warrant; 3) the forensic report for the computer seized from the Warwick home; and, 4) any documents the Government possessed as to the victims' juvenile detention.

Based on the Government's response, it appears that it has produced discovery in its possession, custody or control. As to evidence possessed by third parties, Rule 16(a)(1) provides that the Government is required to produce statements and documents within the government's possession, custody or control. Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(1). Curry has not shown that the Government has not produced any evidence in its possession, custody or control. The Court denies Defendant's Motion to Compel as to documents that are not in the Government's possession or control.

At the hearing, the defense raised the issue that the redacted documents produced by the Government to the defense must be reviewed in camera by the Court to determine whether the redacted portions are relevant to the case and/or show a witness's character for truthfulness. The Court has now reviewed the requested documents and finds the Government must produce the following documents which may be relevant at trial under Fed.R.Evid. Rules 607 to 609:

Discovery produced to current defense counsel on ...

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