United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
F. COX, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
February 2018, during an investigation into a stolen vehicle
re-tag ring, Detroit police officers obtained and executed a
search warrant at Defendant Kristopher Hobson's
residence. The search uncovered, among other things, two
stolen firearms. These firearms, discovered in
Defendant's bedroom, are the basis for his two pending
has moved to suppress all items seized during the search,
alleging various defects in the warrant. For the reasons
below, the Court shall deny his motion because the warrant
was sufficiently particular and supported by probable cause
and because the firearms were lawfully seized in plain view.
with two counts of felon in possession of a firearm, 18
U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (Doc. # 12), Defendant Kristopher
Hobson has moved to suppress all evidence seized during the
February 7, 2018 search of his residence (Doc. # 37). The
Court held an evidentiary hearing on his motion on June 27,
2018, during which the Government presented two
witnesses-Detroit Police Sergeant Franklin Gerard and Detroit
Police Detective Jon Metiva. The Government also introduced,
as exhibits, the search warrant, the warrant affidavit, and
photographs taken during the execution of the warrant.
heard and observed the witnesses who testified at the
evidentiary hearing, allowing for this Court to assess
credibility, having considered the exhibits submitted by the
parties, having considered the arguments presented by
counsel, and having applied the governing legal principles,
the Court makes the following findings of fact and
conclusions of law.
events leading up to the execution of the search warrant are
described in the warrant affidavit prepared by Detective
Metiva. In it, he averred that in December 2017, officers of
the Detroit Auto Theft Task Force were conducting an
investigation into a stolen vehicle re-tag ring. During the
investigation, they recovered a stolen 2007 Chevrolet
Trailblazer that had been re-tagged with a fraudulent VIN
number. Mail inside the vehicle was addressed to a residence
at 5290 W. Outer Drive in Detroit, Michigan, leading the
officers to turn their attention to that location.
Force officers then conducted numerous surveillance
operations at the address. On February 1, 2018, officers
observed an individual in a black/blue Tahoe drive to the
location, go inside, and then leave in the vehicle. A check
on the Tahoe's license plate revealed that the plate
number matched a 2015 GMC Sierra. This same Tahoe was also
involved in a terminated high speed chase with Southfield
police officers two days later.
February 2, officers saw a white Chevrolet Trailblazer parked
in the rear of the backyard of the Outer Drive residence.
Also at the residence was a black Trailblazer parked in a
manner that concealed it from the street. Two days later, a
reliable confidential source contacted Task Force officers
and reported having been in contact with the individuals at
the Outer Drive residence. The source had also obtained the
VIN number for the white Trailblazer. A check on that number
revealed that the vehicle had been stolen.
surveillance culminated in the execution of a search warrant
by the Task Force at the Outer Drive residence on February 7.
During the search, officers recovered three stolen
Trailblazers-the two from the backyard and one from the
garage. They also arrested a man present at the address, who
stated that his step-brother, Kristopher Hobson, had brought
the cars there. The arrestee also informed the officers that
Hobson drove a black Yukon and lived at 18714 Kentucky.
same day, officers went to the Kentucky residence and
observed the black/blue Tahoe they had seen a few days prior
in the yard, along with a black Cadillac Escalade, a black
Yukon Denali, and a vehicle under a tarp.
evening, Detective Metiva prepared an affidavit and obtained
a search warrant for the Kentucky residence and its
curtilage. The warrant authorized the officers to seize the
All evidence including, stolen vehicles, donor vehicles,
vehicle parts, vehicle identification plates, tools to
dismantle vehicles, titles registrations, cellular phones,
desk top computers, laptop computers, tablets, illegal or
legal weapons, and ...