United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Corbett O'Meara United States District Judge.
the court are several pretrial motions filed by Defendant.
The court heard oral argument on December 1, 2016, and took
the matter under advisement.
receiving information that Defendant Keith Collier was
involved in drug trafficking, the Drug Enforcement Agency
(“DEA”) began an investigation. DEA Special Agent
Bryan Sartori applied for a search warrant for two locations:
Defendant's residence on Summit Drive in Farmington
Hills, Michigan, and a house on Montana Street in Detroit.
See Govt. Ex. A (search warrant affidavit and
warrant). The search warrant affidavit was based in part upon
information learned from several confidential informants.
21, 2015, DEA agents executed search warrants at
Defendant's residence in Farmington Hills as well as at
the house on Montana Street in Detroit. At the Farmington
Hills address, agents found two handguns and approximately
$200, 000 in cash. They also found mail addressed to Collier
and a water bill for the Montana Street address. At the
Montana Street house, they found a loaded handgun, heroin,
crack and powdered cocaine, and Fentanyl, as well as drug
packaging materials and latex gloves, zip lock bags, a
strainer, rubber bands, tape razors, face masks, a coffee
grinder, measuring cups, and cutting agents.
time the search warrants were executed, Collier was not at
either house and was not arrested. The DEA sent items found
at the Montana Street address to the Michigan State Police
for DNA testing. On October 2, 2015, the Michigan State
Police confirmed that Collier's DNA was found in one of
the used face masks. After a criminal complaint was issued,
Collier was arrested on November 19, 2015.
December 3, 2015, Collier was indicted on five counts: felon
in possession of two firearms found at the Farmington Hills
residence; possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or
more of heroin; possession with intent to distribute cocaine;
possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking
crime; and felon in possession of a firearm found at the
Montana Street address.
has filed several pretrial motions seeking discovery and to
suppress evidence. See Docket Nos. 27-32.
Motion for Disclosure of Confidential
seeks the disclosure of one of the confidential informants
who provided information underlying the search warrant,
“DEA 3.” In April 2015, DEA 3 initiated a
controlled purchase of heroin from Defendant through a third
party. Although information gleaned from this purchase was
used in the search warrant affidavit, Defendant is not
charged with a crime regarding DEA 3's controlled
purchase of heroin. Rather, the charges against Defendant
derive from the guns and drugs seized during the execution of
the search warrants at the Farmington Hills and Montana
similar circumstances, the Sixth Circuit has held that the
government need not disclose the identity of the confidential
informant. See United States v. Ray, 803 F.3d 244,
274 (6th Cir. 2015). The government has a
“limited privilege” to withhold the identity of
persons who provide information to law enforcement.
“When ‘disclosure of an informer's identity,
or of the contents of his communication, is relevant and
helpful to the defense of an accused, or is essential to a
fair determination of a cause, the privilege must give
way.'” Ray, 803 F.3d at 273 (quoting
Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53, 60-61
Ray, the court held that the identity of a
confidential informant was not relevant or helpful to the
defense because “the only record evidence of the role
played by the CI in this case is that the CI supplied the
information to law enforcement that ultimately led to a
fruitful search.” The court reasoned that “Ray
was not charged with any crimes related to the controlled
buy, thus the CI was not involved in, and could not testify
about, the crimes for which Ray was charged and could not
have provided testimony to any fact relevant to those
charges.” Id. at 274.
Defendant has not demonstrated how the identity of DEA 3
would be relevant or helpful to his defense, or how the
disclosure would be “essential to a fair trial.”
See Ray, 803 F.3d at 274. See also United States
v. Beals, 698 F.3d 248, 270 (6th Cir. 2012)
(No disclosure of confidential informant when “[t]he
informant helped orchestrate the search that led to