United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
March 20, 2019, a federal grand jury returned a three-count
indictment charging Jesse Hawkins (“Jesse”) and
his brother Price Hawkins (collectively Defendants) with
firearm offenses. Jesse is charged in two counts of the
Indictment: (1) Receipt of a Firearm While Under Indictment
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(n); and (2) Possession
of an Unregistered Firearm in violation of 26 U.S.C.
§§ 5841, 5861(d) and 5871. The matter is presently
before the Court on the following motions filed by
Motion for Disclosure of Witness List, Exhibit List and
Additional Witness Information in Advance of Trial (ECF No.
Motion to Suppress Evidence (Cell Phone) (ECF No. 45); and,
(3) Motion to Suppress Post-Arrest Statement (ECF No. 48).
motions have been fully briefed. The Court held a hearing
with respect to Jesse's motion to suppress his
post-arrest statement, only, on November 13, 2019.
charges against Defendants arise from the Michigan State
Police (“MSP”) Department's investigation of
drug sales by Jesse at the home he shared with his family in
Inkster, Michigan. On June 6, 2018, MSP Detective Trooper
Jeff Rucinski signed and submitted an affidavit in support of
a warrant to search the home. According to the affidavit, a
Canton Township Police Department confidential informant
(“CI”) reported that a narcotics trafficker with
the street name “Lil Jesse” sells marijuana out
of the residence, where he lives with his mother, father, and
brothers. (Aff. for a Search Warrant at 3.)
reported that Lil Jesse uses a cell phone to conduct narcotic
sales and the CI shared that No. with law enforcement.
(Id.) Using a database, officers linked the cell
phone No. to Jesse. (Id.) When shown a photograph of
Jesse, the CI confirmed that this was who the CI was
referring to as “Lil Jesse.” (Id.) The
CI also was shown a photograph of the residence, which the CI
identified as the location where Jesse sells marijuana.
(Id.) According to the CI, Jesse sometimes has his
brothers sell the marijuana for him if he is not home.
(Id.) The CI indicated that he had purchased
marijuana from Jesse at the residence on numerous occasions.
also informed law enforcement that Jesse has several firearms
inside the residence. (Id.) According to the CI,
Jesse showed him a mini Draco AK-47, a micro Draco AK-47, an
AR-15 (with a 100-round drum), an MP40 submachine gun, and
pistols inside the residence. (Id.)
forty-eight hours of Detective Trooper Rucinski's
affidavit, the CI made a controlled purchase of marijuana
from Jesse at the Inkster residence. (Id. at 5.) The
CI reported that Jesse had a pistol on his person inside the
residence during the drug transaction and that the CI
observed a mini Draco AK-47 in the living room.
(Id.) The CI does not have a medical marijuana card
and had been deemed reliable by law enforcement on at least
two previous occasions. (Id.)
Trooper Rucinski stated in his affidavit that he knows, based
upon his training and experience, that drug traffickers
usually keep firearms to protect the drugs they distribute
and the proceeds from that distribution. (Id. at
2-3.) Detective Trooper Rucinski added that drug traffickers
also commonly use electronic equipment, including mobile and
cellular phones, to aid them in their drug trafficking
activities. (Id.) Further, according to Detective
Trooper Rucinski, drug traffickers take or cause to be taken
photographs of themselves, their associates, their property,
and their product, which are commonly kept at their
search warrant, issued by a judicial officer in
Michigan's 36th District Court on June 6, 2018, allowed
for the search of the Inkster residence and the seizure of
inter alia “[a]ny and all communication devices
including but not limited to cell phones and pagers.”
(Id. at 7.) The warrant further authorized
“[t]he search, seizure, manual examination and the
forensic examination of any and all … communication
devices …, including but not limited to cell phones
….” (Id.) Law enforcement officers
executed the search warrant on June 7, 2018. Jesse, his
girlfriend, Price, and other family members were present at
was in the home's southwest bedroom when the officers
arrived. In the bedroom, the officers found a magazine rifle,
marijuana packaged into 23 separate baggies, a digital scale,
money (including money whose serial No. matched the money the
CI used in the controlled drug buy less than 48 hours
earlier), and Jesse's cell phone. Another firearm was
found in the kitchen.
was in the basement when the officers arrived, which was set
up as a bedroom. His phone, which was on the bed, was seized
by the officers. Next to the bed was a duffle bag containing
ammunition and a short-barreled rifle. The officers
subsequently reviewed text messages on and completed a
forensic examination of Price's phone.
March 17, 2019, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
(“ATF”) agents arrested Jesse pursuant to a
warrant issued in this case and ATF Special Agent Matthew
Rummel (“Agent Rummel”) and MSP Detective Trooper
Jeff Rucinski interrogated him. The interview was recorded,
and a copy was filed on the docket. Jesse and the Government
also supplied the Court with their transcriptions of the
interview. (ECF Nos. 48-1, 61-1.)
for Disclosure of Witness List, Exhibit List and Additional
Witness Information in Advance of Trial (ECF No. 43)
seeks to compel the Government to provide its witness and
exhibit lists and witness information prior to trial,
including the grand jury testimony of any witnesses. He
argues that early disclosure of this information is needed
“to permit reasonable preparation by the
defense.” (Mot. at 2, ECF No. 43 at Pg ID 157.) The
Government opposes Jesse's motion, arguing that
disclosure is not required by law. The Government indicates,
however, that it will provide any Jencks Act materials to
Jesse one week before trial.
well-settled that there is no general constitutional right to
discovery in a criminal case. See Weatherford v.
Bursey, 429 U.S. 545, 559 (1997); United States v.
Presser, 844 F.2d 1275, 1281 (6th Cir. 1988). This rule
is tempered by the prosecution's obligation under
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87 (1963), to
provide the defendant with information favorable to his
defense and material to either guilt or punishment. “It
does not follow from the prohibition against concealing
evidence favorable to the accused that the prosecution must
reveal before trial the names of all witnesses who will
testify unfavorably.” Weatherford, 429 U.S. at
559; see also United States v. Todd, 920 F.2d 399,
405 (6th Cir. 1990) (quoting Weatherford, 429 U.S.
at 559) (“[t]he Supreme Court has made clear that the
Brady rule is not an evidentiary rule which grants broad
discovery powers to a defendant and that ‘[t]here is no
general right to discovery in a criminal case.'”)
of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure likewise does not
require the disclosure of witness names. United States v.
Conder, 423 F.2d 904, 910 (6th Cir. 1970); see also
United States v. Dark, 597 F.2d 1097, 1099 (6th Cir.
1979); United States v. Carter, 621 F.2d 238, 240
(6th Cir. 1980) (explaining that Rule 16 “has never
been held to provide a broader basis for discovery than 18
U.S.C. § 3500[, ]” which provides that the
“United States is generally under no duty to provide
the statement of a government witness until that witness has
testified on direct examination in the case.”). This
District's Standing Order for Discovery reflects the
absence of a general duty to disclose the names of government
witnesses before trial: “[G]overnment counsel [shall
not] be required to automatically disclose the names of
government witnesses.” E.D. Mich. Standing Order for
Discovery & Inspection & Fixing Motion Cut-Off Date
in Criminal Cases at 2 (Oct. 2003). The order requires the
parties to submit their list of witnesses the day before
trial for the court's review, only, “[t]o enable
the judge to better estimate the length of trial[.]”
Id. at 4. The order further provides that exhibit
lists must be submitted to the court, only, three days prior
to trial. Id. at 3. As reflected in the Scheduling
Order initially entered in this case on April 1, 2019, the
undersigned generally requires the parties to submit their
witness lists to chambers two weeks before trial. (ECF No.
Jesse cannot obtain the discovery requested as a matter of
right, the Sixth Circuit has indicated that district courts
have the discretion to order the prosecution to produce
discovery “when justice requires it[.]” See
United States v. Kendricks, 623 F.2d 1165, 1168 (6th
Cir. 1980) (citations omitted); Presser, 844 F.2d at
1285 n.12. And to obtain early disclosure of grand jury
material, a defendant must show a “compelling necessity
. . . a ‘particularized need' rather than a general
one.” United States v. Short, 671 F.2d 178,
184 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 457 U.S. 1119 (1982). This is a
“ ‘difficult burden' ” to satisfy.
United States v. Azad, 809 F.2d 291, 295 (6th Cir.
1986) (quoting United States v. Battista, 646 F.2d
237, 242 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 1046 (1981)).
fails to demonstrate that justice requires the early
disclosure of the Government's witness or exhibit lists
or that there is a “compelling necessity” or
“particularized need” for the disclosure of grand
jury material. He does not identify any circumstances that
distinguish his case from every other criminal proceeding.
The facts supporting the charges against Defendants are
straightforward; the evidence is not voluminous or complex.
these reasons, the Court is denying Jesse's Motion for
Disclosure of Witness List, Exhibit List, and Additional
Witness Information in Advance of Trial.
to Suppress Evidence (Cell Phone)
seeks to suppress evidence seized from his cell phone,
arguing that the evidence is unrelated to the initial basis
for the probable cause to seize and search the phone-that
being, Jesse's alleged narcotics trafficking. Jesse
argues that the search warrant was unduly broad in that it
allowed the ...