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United States v. Fletcher

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

October 27, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Terrance Martez Fletcher, Defendant.

          R. Steven Whalen, Magistrate Judge

          ORDER DENYING AMENDED MOTION TO SUPPRESS [15]; DENYING AS MOOT MOTION TO SUPPRESS [14]

          Arthur J. Tarnow, Senior United States District Judge

         Defendant is charged in a ten count indictment with three counts of felony possession of a firearm, three counts of possession of a stolen firearm, two counts of felony possession of ammunition, and one count each of possession of fraudulent documents with intent to defraud and fraud activity in connection with access devices. Defendant filed a Motion to Suppress [14] on August 18, 2016. Defendant filed an Amended Motion to Suppress on August 22, 2016 [15][1], seeking to suppress evidence seized from two vehicles belonging to Defendant's fiancé and mother, based on an insufficient warrant. The Government responded on September 6, 2016 [18]. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's Amended Motion to Suppress [15] is DENIED and Defendant's Motion to Suppress [14] is DENIED as moot.

         Factual Background

         On Friday, February 19, 2016, Investigator Jonathan Hugle of the Michigan Department of Corrections' Absconder Recovery Unit arrived at Defendant's home to arrest him for a parole violation.[2] After Defendant was handcuffed, Investigator Hugle, pursuant to MCL 791.236(19), began to search Defendant's home, which he shares with his fiancé, Janee Byrd. This search uncovered the following:

● Five rounds of 44 caliber ammunition
● One round of 38 special ammunition
● One round of 9mm ammunition
● Seven rounds of 380 ammunition with magazine
● 3 social security cards
● $14, 817 U.S. currency
● Mail
● Fraudulent driver's licenses
● Smith & Wesson, 40 caliber semi-automatic pistol- loaded with 7 rounds
● Holster
● Double Magazine holder
● A blank, unissued SOS Michigan vehicle title

[18 at 2].

         During Investigator Hugle's search of the house, Michigan State Trooper Raymond Rollet from the Down River Area Narcotics Organization (DRANO) arrived to assist Investigator Hugle. He was apprised of what Hugle had already unearthed in his search. According to the affidavit, Trooper Rollet found two sets of car keys hanging by the door inside the house. Trooper Rollet went outside and pressed the unlock buttons on the keys until he found the cars, a Dodge Challenger and a Chrysler 300. According to the warrant affidavit, Trooper Rollet asked Byrd about the vehicles, and she responded that the Challenger was driven by Fletcher despite being titled to Defendant's mother, while the Chrysler 300 was owned by Byrd. Trooper Rollet requested permission from Byrd and Defendant's Mother to search the cars, but consent was not given.

         Additional DRANO officers arrived and assisted Trooper Rollet in securing and processing the items removed from Defendant's house. Trooper Rollet then informed Byrd that the two cars would be impounded, and that they would be seeking a search warrant for the vehicles. The cars were removed by a towing company and taken to their yard to be held pending a search warrant. Rollet indicated in his report that the cars were seized to prevent the destruction of possible evidence.

         Per his incident report, Rollet believed that there was probable cause that Defendant and/or his fiancé were involved in identity theft and in possession of a stolen gun, and that additional evidence would be found in the cars because:

● Defendant's mother was untruthful concerning the residence and the large amount of money found;
‚óŹ Defendant's mother was untruthful concerning her employment as a UBER driver, and that the stolen gun found in the house must belong to a ...

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