United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
SUPPRESS STATEMENTS (Dkt. 17)
A. GOLDSMITH United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant William Andrew
Dennis's motion to suppress statements (Dkt. 17). The
issue has been briefed, and the Court held a hearing on April
reasons discussed below, the Court denies Dennis's
first came to the attention of authorities during an
investigation into drug trafficking activity by Demarco
Tempo. Gov. Resp. at 4 (Dkt. 24). Tempo is the half-brother
of Dennis's late son, William Dennis, Jr., and the head
of an alleged drug trafficking organization. 4/4/2017
Hr'g Tr. at 5-6 (Dkt. 28). Dennis was linked to
Tempo's organization on two occasions prior to his
March 2016, officers observed Dennis at a vacant home on
Strasburg in Detroit, Michigan, known to authorities as a
primary stash location for the organization. Gov. Resp. at 5.
During a June 2016 search of the home, officers discovered a
deed, reflecting that Dennis had conveyed the home to a
member of Tempo's organization. 4/4/2017 Hr'g Tr. at
7. Based on this association with Tempo's organization,
as well as information from two sources regarding
Dennis's own drug trafficking activity, officers with the
Warren Police Department obtained a search warrant for
Dennis's home. Gov. Resp. at 4.
warrant was executed on December 6, 2016. Id. at 6.
In addition to finding $2, 000 and crack cocaine on
Dennis's person, officers discovered two grams of crack
cocaine, over 23 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, and
three firearms in the home. Id. While Dennis was
originally charged in a Michigan state court, a federal
complaint was issued on January 13, 2017. 4/4/2017 Hr'g
Tr. at 8.
was subsequently arrested on January 18, 2017. Id.
Prior to his arrest, Eric Lindblade, a task force officer
with the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”),
conducted surveillance outside of Dennis's home in tandem
with Warren police officers. Id. at 9. After
Lindblade observed Dennis leave the home in his vehicle,
Lindblade instructed Warren police officers to arrest him,
which they did. Id. Dennis was then transferred to
the DEA office in Detroit. Id. at 10.
at this office where Lindblade first encountered Dennis.
Id. Lindblade began by conducting a secondary
pat-down of Dennis, during which he discovered a large amount
of money in a plastic bag. Id. Without prompting
from Lindblade, Dennis stated that the money was from a
vehicle he sold in order to pay his attorney in the pending
Michigan case. Id. at 10-11.
then asked Dennis if he understood why he was in DEA custody.
Id. at 11. Dennis responded that he believed it was
related to his pending state court case, for which a hearing
was scheduled the following day. Id. Lindblade
informed Dennis that the case had been taken over by the
federal government. Id. To Lindblade's
knowledge, Dennis had not been read his Miranda
rights at any point during the course of his arrest.
Id. at 13.
Dennis was fingerprinted and photographed, he was handcuffed
and placed into Lindblade's vehicle in order to be
transferred to the federal courthouse. Id. at 13-14.
About a minute into the ride, Dennis began talking about how
his son had been killed by a man named “Kenny.”
Id. at 16-17. In response, Lindblade asked who Kenny
was; Dennis stated that he was referring to Kenneth Sadler, a
member of Tempo's organization. Id. at 17.
Lindblade then asked Dennis why he believed Sadler was
responsible for William Jr.'s death. Id. at 18.
Dennis stated that Sadler did not like that William Jr., who
was younger than Sadler, was assisting a man named
“Polo” with his drug trafficking organization.
Id. at 19. Lindblade then asked who Polo was, and
was informed that Polo was Tempo's nickname. Id.
In an effort to find out more about Tempo, Lindblade asked
again who Polo referred to, and Dennis confirmed again that
it was Tempo. Id. at 19-20.
continued elaborating about Tempo, insisting that he never
sold him drugs. Id. at 20. Dennis reiterated his
belief that William Jr. was killed because members of
Tempo's organization, including Sadler, were jealous that
William Jr. was given a leadership role after Tempo was
incarcerated. Id. Dennis also stated that he never
sold or bought drugs from Tempo, and that his relationship to
Tempo was limited to fixing up the home on Strasburg.
Id. at 20-21. Dennis then stated that Tempo's
organization sold heroin and crack cocaine, but that he only
sold crack cocaine and he only had one customer. Id.
attempting to distance himself from Tempo, Dennis began
explaining the presence of the firearms that were found in
his home. Id. at 26. Dennis informed Lindblade that
the firearms belonged to William Jr. and that they had been
taken out of storage and brought to Dennis's home a
couple days prior to the execution of the search warrant on
December 6, 2016. Id. at 27. Dennis did not say who
brought the firearms out of storage, only that he knew they
were located somewhere in his home. Id.