United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS
EVIDENCE [ECF NOS. 26, 27]
VICTORIA A. ROBERTS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case stems from the execution of a search warrant on 85/87
Edgevale Street in Detroit, Michigan, as part of an
investigation into a drug overdose death in November 2018.
Juan Gadson is charged in a three-count indictment with being
a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 922(g)(1); possession with intent to distribute
“crack” cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
841(a)(1); and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a
drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
the Court are Gadson's amended Motion to Suppress
Evidence Based on an Invalid Search Warrant [ECF No. 26] and
his amended Motion to Suppress Evidence Based on Illegal
Arrest, Search, and Seizure [ECF No. 27].
motions to suppress are DENIED.
The Investigation, Affidavit for Search Warrant, and Search
affidavit for search warrant details the investigation.
investigation began at the apartment of a deceased male in
early November 2018. He was found with small baggies
containing a white substance. The responding officer
suspected it to be heroin/fentanyl. Sergeant J. Torolski, the
affiant, then took over the investigation. Torolski prepared
and swore to the affidavit for search warrant.
Torolski questioned the victim's live-in girlfriend. She
said the victim was a heroin addict who recently relapsed.
She said she recently confronted him when she observed him to
be high; he then turned over five packs of heroin that she
flushed down the toilet. She said the heroin was packaged in
small pink/reddish baggies.
Torolski then spoke to an anonymous source (the
“anonymous source”) who had purchased heroin from
85/87 Edgevale on numerous occasions. The anonymous source
provided detailed information about the victim's and
his/her own use of heroin and about the packaging of heroin.
The anonymous source provided a detailed description of the
Edgevale location and the black female who sells heroin
there, stating that the sales are in the lower flat, but the
seller accesses the upper flat to get more heroin. Using
police databases, officers were able to identify the black
female as “G.C.”; she provided the Edgevale
address as hers in a recent police report.
48 hours of the application for the search warrant, an
undercover officer worked with a confidential informant (the
“CI”) to conduct a controlled buy of heroin from
G.C. at 85/87 Edgevale. The CI had purchased heroin from
85/87 Edgevale multiple times in the past. Before conducting
the controlled buy, the officer showed the CI a current photo
of G.C., and the CI positively identified G.C. as the person
he/she had purchased heroin from on multiple occasions.
undercover officer was provided with an amount of
pre-recorded funds to conduct the controlled buy. The officer
and the CI then conducted the controlled buy: (1) the officer
searched the CI for money and/or drugs, which was negative;
(2) the officer drove the CI to 85/87 Edgevale in an
undercover car and gave him/her the prerecorded funds; (3)
the CI exited the car and entered 85 Edgevale, the lower
flat; (4) a few minutes later, the CI left the residence and
entered the car; (5) the officer and CI drove to a
pre-arranged location, and the CI turned over packets of
heroin in pink/clear baggies which the CI said he/she
purchased inside 85 Edgevale with the pre-recorded funds; (6)
the officer searched the CI for money and/or drugs, which was
negative; and (7) the undercover officer transported the
suspected heroin back to the police station where it was
field tested. The field test was inconclusive for heroin but
positive for fentanyl.
the CI was inside, the undercover officer observed an unusual
amount of short stay pedestrian traffic, activity consistent
with drug distribution. Specifically, the officer indicated
that during the 5-10 minutes he was there, he observed four
individuals walk up to 85/87 Edgevale, enter the location,
then exit and depart the area after only a few minutes.
Torolski concludes the affidavit for search warrant stating
he believes a search of 85/87 would yield narcotics and other
evidence of narcotics trafficking. At the time of the
affidavit, Sergeant Torolski had over 23 years of experience
investigating various criminal cases; he summarized his
knowledge of drug distribution operations, gained through
experience and training, in the affidavit.
County District Judge signed the underlying search warrant on
November 29, 2018, finding that probable cause existed for
the search of 85/87 Edgevale based on the affidavit for
The Search and Gadson's Arrest
executed the search warrant on 85/87 Edgevale at
approximately 8:00 a.m. on November 30, 2018. The following