United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT KNIGHT'S
MOTION TO SUPPRESS (DOC. 251)
CARAM STEEH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Rodney Knight is charged with conspiracy to distribute and
possess with intent to distribute controlled substances in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846, and being
a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 19 U.S.C.
§ 922(g). This matter is presently before the Court on
Knight's Motion to Suppress Evidence. (Doc. 251). Oral
argument was held on November 13, 2017. For the reasons
stated below, Knight's motion is DENIED.
allegedly led a prescription drug trafficking scheme, wherein
marketers or recruiters arranged for individuals to enter
Zigmond's chiropractic office as patients. (Doc. 251-2 at
PageID 1941-44). The marketers made a cash payment of about
$500.00 for each patient. (Doc. 251-2 at PageID 1942).
Zigmond referred patients to doctors participating in the
scheme. (Doc. 251-2 at PageID 1941-42). Patients visited
these physicians at other locations and, without an adequate
examination or medical need, received a prescription for a
controlled substance; typically Oxycodone or Roxicodone.
(Doc. 251-2 at PageID 1941-44).
was identified as Zigmond's “muscle;”
providing protection and transportation. (Doc. 251-2 at
PageID 1943). Zigmond's former driver and
“money-man, ” Vladimir Zvynka, was killed during
a robbery outside Zigmond's office. (Id.).
Knight also allegedly “often operate[d]” as
Zigmond's “second-in-command;” assisting in
“scheduling appointments and accepting payments from
marketers/recruiters.” (Doc. 251-2 at PageID 1947-49).
Government conducted a Title III wire and electronic
intercept on a telephone utilized by Knight between November
6, 2014 and December 5, 2014. (Doc. 251-2 at PageID 1949). On
November 18, 2014, agents intercepted calls between Knight
and a marketer/recruiter regarding a request to pay for 34
doctor's appointments. (Doc. 251-2 at PageID 1949).
Thirty appointments, at $500 each, cost approximately $15,
000. (Doc. 251-2 at PageID 1950). On November 19, 2014,
agents observed Knight meet at the location and time stated
in the intercepted call. (Id.). Within the hour,
agents stopped Knight and seized $15, 000 in cash from his
April 28, 2015, the Government filed a search warrant
application and 62 page affidavit for Knight's home and
eight other locations. (Doc. 251-2). Based on his knowledge
of the case, court authorized intercepted phone calls, and
personal observations, the affiant, Drug Enforcement
Administration Agent Mark Gogan, stated that Knight was a
complicit member in Zigmond's organization, Zigmond's
close associate, and his main patient marketer. (Doc. 251-2
at PageID 1960). Knight allegedly possessed a deep
understanding and working knowledge of the day to day
operation. (Id.). The affidavit stated that, given
the $15, 000 seized on November 19, 2014, Knight was known to
carry large sums of drug trafficking proceeds. It also relied
on information provided by two confidential informants to
assert that Knight was “intimately involved with the
scheduling of appointments to obtain fraudulent
warrant application sought to search Knight's home
“for evidence of his involvement in this enterprise,
including evidence of his relationship with Zigmond and other
associates; evidence of his financial transactions with
Zigmond and his associates; evidence of firearms, ammunition
or other weapons likely to be present to safeguard the drug
proceeds carried by Knight, evidence of his own financial
transactions involving his payments and profits from the
enterprise, and evidence of drugs, prescriptions and patient
records related to the enterprise.” (Doc. 251-2 at
PageID 1960-61). An attachment to the affidavit further
clarified the evidence sought, including:
• All records relating to the ordering, maintenance, or
dispensing of controlled substances;
• Documentation of all patient appointments or
scheduling and patient sign-in sheets;
• All records related to any payments received from
marketers or recruiters;
• All documents constituting, concerning or relating to
work and personal diaries, calendars, logs, appointment books
• All documents relating to the seizure of ...