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United States v. Bailey

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

May 9, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff,
v.
D-4 COREY BAILEY, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS [DOC. 909]

          GEORGE CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the court on defendant Corey Bailey's motion to suppress evidence seized by law enforcement during six separate incidents, which correspond to overt acts charged in the indictment. The court held an evidentiary hearing on April 25, 2018. For the reasons stated in this order, defendant's motion to suppress is denied.

         I. July 23, 2004 (Overt Act 104) Stop and Search of Bailey

         The government informed the court and the defendants that it will not be presenting any evidence of this act at trial. Therefore, the suppression issue as to this act is moot.

         II. May 5, 2005 (Overt Act 102) Detention of Bailey

         The government informed the court and the defendants that it will not be presenting any evidence of this act at trial. Therefore, the suppression issue as to this act is moot.

         III. April 13, 2007 (Overt Act 95) Search of 14117 Collingham

         On April 13, 2007 at about 5:30 p.m., Amanda Pitts told the desk officer at the Fifth Precinct of the Detroit Police Department that she was parking her car when Corey Bailey pulled up in a Dodge van and backed into the front of her vehicle, causing damage. Sergeant Corey Karssen ran a LEIN check on Bailey and discovered a bench warrant out of the 36thDistrict Court for failure to appear for a misdemeanor. The LEIN system listed Bailey's address as 14117 Collingham, Detroit, MI.

         Karssen testified that on April 13, 2007, he went to 14117 Collingham to investigate Bailey for destruction of property. Karssen testified that he was met at the front door by Lakisha Bembry. Ms. Bembry told him that she lived at the address and allowed the officers entry. When asked, Ms. Bembry stated that Bailey lived there and she was not sure if he was home. Ms. Bembry then consented to the officers checking the location for Bailey.

         Ms. Bembry testified that the apartment was rented by a Ms. Smith, who allowed Bembry to live there. Ms. Smith was about 70 years old at the time and was also Corey Bailey's great aunt. Bembry could not definitively say if Bailey lived there or if he just stayed there sometimes. Bembry testified that Ms. Smith was the person who answered the door when the officers knocked and that she declined them entry unless they had a warrant. According to Bembry, the officers entered the house without permission.

         As Karssen looked through the house for Bailey, he smelled suspected marijuana coming from the basement. Karssen and Officer Carlos Chapman went to the basement and observed Bailey lying on an air mattress in a room with no door. A female, Moniqua Jones, was in the room with Bailey. Karssen testified that he walked around the air mattress and observed a small shotgun lying on the floor between the mattress and the wall. Karssen further testified that Officer Bickley placed Bailey into custody. Karssen then recovered the weapon from the floor and observed and confiscated eight plastic wraps of suspected crack cocaine and one zip lock of suspected marijuana which was in plain view on the television stand. Descriptions of the room given by Karssen and Jones make it clear that the gun and the drugs were both within arm's reach of Bailey as he lie on the bed.

         Corey Bailey's testimony differed from that of Sergeant Karssen with regard to the visibility of the gun and drugs. Bailey testified that his gun was stored in a locked cabinet inside the wall and that the police opened the door and found the gun. He also testified that the crack cocaine was not in plain view, but rather was stored in a red opaque Swisher tube on the television stand. Finally, Bailey disputed the amount of drugs found, estimating that there was approximately a tenth of a gram of crack, for his personal use.

         Bailey was interrogated by Sergeant Boyle at the precinct after he signed a waiver of constitutional rights statement. He admitted that the crack found when he was arrested was his, but that he was not selling it. He also admitted that the gun that was found was his.

         Bailey was charged with possession of the gun. He had a lawyer in his state court case and was given the police report stating that Bembry gave officers permission to enter the house. Bailey's lawyer filed a motion to suppress contesting consent based on the fact that officers pushed past Ms. “Bembry who was no[t] a full time resident of the home and ...


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