United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
HONORABLE STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III, Judge
United States charged Defendant Derrin Abbott with being a
felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession
of stolen firearms, and possession with intent to distribute
marijuana. Abbott alleges the Government conducted two
illegal searches and he therefore filed a motion to suppress
evidence seized during the searches. For the reasons stated
below, the Court will deny the motion.
March 23, 2016, police officers executed a state search
warrant at XXX39 Arlington, in Detroit, Michigan. ECF 36-2.
The search warrant affidavit set forth an eight-page
chronology of suspected criminal activity connected to Abbott
and the XXX39 Arlington residence. Also, the affidavit noted
that the affiant had served as a Detroit Police Officer for
17 years and was assigned to the Violent Crime Task Force.
ECF 36-2, PgID 182. While executing the warrant, police
recovered information confirming that Abbott resides at XXX39
and that both XXX39 and XXX45 Arlington have Abbott's
name on registration documents. They also recovered clothing
items worn in a recent series of robberies, cell phones,
laptop computers, cameras, firearms, ammunition, baseball
hats, gym shoes, and video games. During the search, officers
spoke to Abbott's girlfriend, Randesha Sutton. Based on
the information Sutton provided and other evidence found at
XXX39 Arlington, police officers obtained a search warrant
for XXX45 Arlington. ECF 36-3. The same affiant authored the
search warrant affidavits for both residences. The XXX45
affidavit repeated the supporting facts from the XXX39
affidavit, and added an additional paragraph of information
obtained from Sutton and the search of XXX39 Arlington.
Id. ¶ 40. At XXX45 Arlington, police recovered
stolen video games and consoles, marijuana, numerous
firearms, ammunition, cell phones, and several television
sets. The Government charged Abbott with multiple crimes, and
his motion to suppress followed.
Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects
"[t]he right of the people to be secure . . . against
unreasonable searches and seizures[.]" U.S. Const.
amend. IV. To secure the right, the Amendment provides that
"no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,
supported by Oath or affirmation[.]" Id.
"Probable cause exists when there is a fair probability,
given the totality of the circumstances, that contraband or
evidence of a crime will be found in a particular
place." United States v. Davidson, 936 F.2d
856, 859 (6th Cir. 1991) (quotations omitted). And an
affidavit-serving as an Oath or affirmation-"must
contain adequate supporting facts about the underlying
circumstances to show that probable cause exists."
United States v. Weaver, 99 F.3d 1372, 1377 (6th
making a probable-cause determination, the "magistrate
is simply to make a practical, common-sense decision"
given the totality of the facts. Illinois v. Gates,
462 U.S. 213, 238 (1983). And when reviewing a search
warrant, courts must give "great deference" to the
magistrate's determination while ensuring that the
magistrate "had a substantial basis for concluding that
probable cause existed." Id. at 236, 238-39
(alterations omitted). A magistrate's probable cause
determination "should be reversed only if arbitrarily
made." United States v. Jackson, 470 F.3d 299,
306 (6th Cir. 2006). I. Probable Cause Abbott argues
that the search-warrant affidavits failed to establish
probable cause because the affidavits contained only stale,
unreliable, and unverified information.
nine-page search-warrant affidavits laid out-in considerable
detail-a chronology of supporting facts related to a series
of robberies, Abbott, and the Arlington residences:
• Abbott's telephone was used shortly before, during
or immediately after fourteen robberies that occurred from
October 2015 to March 2016. ECF 36-2, 36-3 ¶¶ 8, 9,
12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 24, 29, 30.
• During a December 8, 2015 robbery, police observed
Abbott's 2007 Buick parked near the robbery location with
a crow bar laying across the back seat floor board.
Id. ¶ 16.
• On February 1, 2016, shortly after a robbery occurred,
Abbott's girlfriend, Sutton, posted a picture of herself
on Facebook laying in a bed covered with money. Id.
¶ 22. She and the Defendant both reside at XXX39
Arlington. Id. ¶¶ 32, 36.
• On February 15, 2016, police officers observed a
Chevrolet truck (registered to Abbott's nephew) leave the
area of a burglary alarm around 4:00 a.m. and travel to
Abbott's house on Arlington. The truck parked and the
occupants switched to a Buick Lucerne and drove away while
the occupants of XXX39 Arlington drove away in a Saturn
belonging to Abbott's girlfriend. The Saturn performed
evasive maneuvers to escape surveillance. Abbott's phone
made calls during this episode.
Id. ¶ 24, 25.
• Two additional robberies occurred on March 17, 2016,
during which Abbott's telephone made calls. Id.