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United States v. Miller

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

April 7, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff,
Anthony Williams Miller, Defendant.



          Arthur J. Tarnow, Senior United States District Judge

         On March 7, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence [201] seized from a search of 11697 Dwyer Street, Detroit, Michigan on June 1, 2012, per a search warrant executed by a DEA Task Force. The Government responded on March 20, 2017 [215] and Defendant replied on March 24, 2017 [226]. A hearing was held on the Motion on March 31, 2017. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion to Suppress Evidence [201] is GRANTED and no evidence seized from the Dwyer residence can be used at trial against Defendant Anthony Miller.

         Statement of Facts

         As described in the Affidavit in support of a search warrant of the Dwyer residence, David Powell (Powell), a Northfield Twp. Police Officer who later was assigned to a DEA task force, received information from a confidential source (CS) on March 1, 2012 regarding the drug trafficking activities of Ronald Miller. The CS is identified in the affidavit as someone the DEA had used in the past for narcotics investigations, and who had provided information independently corroborated by Powell. The CS stated that, in 2005, she/he had distributed cocaine received from Miller. She/he further indicated that Miller's girlfriend lived at 5188 Talbot Street, and that Ronald Miller would visit that residence and sometimes distribute drugs from there. CS stated that she/he has a close friend of the Ronald Miller drug trafficking organization (DTO) who has direct knowledge that the DTO is still distributing drugs in Detroit, MI area.

         Surveillance on the Talbot house began on May 8, 2012. Powell observed Ronald Miller exit the residence, open the trunk of a black Mercedes Benz (later identified as being registered to Ronald Miller's wife), obtain an unknown object, and reenter the house. Shortly after that, Powell observed a black Mazda arrive and park in front of the Talbot house. Ronald Miller exited the house, met with the person in the black Mazda (later identified as Joe Moore), and then entered the Talbot house with Moore.

         About nine minutes later, Moore left the house and entered the car. After approximately seven minutes, he exited his car and re-entered the house. About nine minutes later, he left the house and drove away. Surveillance of the car was attempted, but Moore used anti-surveillance driving tactics, which resulted in the termination of the attempted surveillance.

         At about 4:32pm, Ronald Miller and Anthony Miller exited the house and entered a car registered to Anthony Miller that revealed a registered address of 11697 Dwyer St. Surveillance followed Anthony and Ronald to 5617 Casmere Street, where Ronald exited the car and entered the residence. According to the CS, there is a stash house situated on Casmere Street. Anthony then drove to 11697 Dwyer St and entered the house. Based upon these facts, Powell, the affiant, stated in the search warrant application that he believed a narcotics transaction had occurred between Ronald Miller and Moore.

         On June 1, 2012, surveillance was established at the Anthony Miller residence on 11697 Dwyer St. On that day, at around 10:30am, Powell observed Anthony Miller meet with an unknown African American male subject who arrived in a passenger vehicle. After speaking with Miller at the parked car for a short period of time, the unknown driver departed, and Anthony re-entered the house.

         At about 11:05am, Powell observed a car arrive at the Dwyer residence. An unknown black man exited the car and entered the front door of the Dwyer house. About four minutes after entering the residence, the unknown man exited the residence and departed the area in the car. At approximately 11:10am, Powell observed a black Dodge Challenger drive past the Dwyer residence twice without stopping. The license plate on the car was not registered to the Challenger.

         At about 11:12am, a blue colored car stopped close to the Dwyer house, and Powell observed Ronald Miller exit the car and go to the home's porch. Next, the black Challenger arrived and parked in front of the Dwyer home. The passenger of the Challenger, later identified as Samuel Booker, met with Ronald Miller on the porch. Booker and Ronald Miller subsequently entered the Dwyer house.

         At about 11:20am, Powell observed Booker exit the house and get back into the Challenger. At about 11:25am, Michigan State Police Trooper Liss conducted a traffic stop of the Challenger for improper license plates. Booker ran from the car and, after a brief pursuit, was taken into custody. Booker stated that he was on probation. He was subsequently handcuffed and searched, but the officers did not find any contraband in his possession. The trooper tracked the route Booker had taken upon his exit from the car and found what he believed to be cocaine about 50 feet from where he had exited the car. During their interviews, both the driver and Booker denied going to the Dwyer St. residence as well as any knowledge of the cocaine.

         Based on the above information contained in the warrant application, on June 1, 2012, Powell applied for a search warrant to search the Dwyer St. residence. The warrant application was approved by a 19th District Court Judge and the search was executed on the same day, yielding evidence of guns, crack cocaine, a scale with ...

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