Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Edwards

United States District Court, District Circuit

May 7, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
GEZO GOEONG EDWARDS, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, District Judge.

Presently before the Court is Defendant Gezo Edwards' [745, 746] Pro Se Motion for New Trial and Renewed Motion to Suppress Evidence Obtained from Interception of Wired Communication. The Court previously denied four motions from the Defendant to suppress evidence obtained pursuant to a court-ordered wiretap interception of three cellular telephones purportedly operated by co-Defendant William Bowman.[1] As with his prior motions, the Defendant's present motion argues that in obtaining a wiretap on Defendant Bowman's cellular telephone the Government failed to disclose Defendant Edwards as a target of the investigation. The Defendant thus asks the Court to vacate the jury's guilty verdict, suppress the evidence obtained from the wiretap, and order a new trial. Upon consideration of the pleadings, [2] the relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court finds the Government complied with the requirements to obtain a wiretap on Defendant Bowman's telephone. Accordingly, Defendant Edwards' motion for a new trial is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

The Court detailed the factual history relevant to Defendant Edwards' motion at length in its July 26, 2012 Memorandum Opinion denying Edwards' initial motion and subsequent opinions, and incorporates herein those opinions in full. In short, as part of its investigation of a drug trafficking conspiracy, the Government obtained orders authorizing the interception of wire communications to and from three cellular telephones allegedly operated by co-Defendant William Bowman, referred to as "TT1, " "TT2, " and "TT3." 7/26/12 Mem. Op. at 2-4. The Government obtained the relevant authorizations for TT2 on January 13, February 11, March 11, and April 8, 2011. Id. at 4-5. The affidavit filed in support of the applications, signed by FBI Special Agent Timothy S. Pak, did not disclose Defendant Edwards as a possible target of the TT2 interception until the April 8, 2011 application. Id. at 5. The Government obtained authorizations for TT3 on March 19 and April 15, 2011. Defendant Edwards was disclosed as a possible target of the TT3 interception in both applications. Id.

Defendant Edwards and thirteen co-Defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more cocaine. Superseding Indictment, ECF No. [28], at 2-3. Defendants Edwards was also charged with using, carrying, and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense. Id. at 6. Defendant Edwards and two co-Defendants, William Bowman and Henry Williams, proceeded to trial. Defendants Edwards and Bowman were convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, while Defendant Williams was convicted of the lesser included offense of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute less than five hundred grams of cocaine.[3] Verdict Forms, ECF Nos. [651, 653, 655].

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Timing of Defendant's Motion

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33 provides that "[u]pon the defendant's motion, the court may vacate any judgment and grant a new trial if the interest of justice so requires." Fed. R. Cr. P. 33(a). "Any motion for a new trial grounded on any reason other than newly discovered evidence must be filed within 14 days after the verdict or finding of guilty." Fed. R. Cr. P. 33(b). The Defendant initially filed a pro se renewed motion to suppress on January 27, 2013, more than forty-five days after jury returned the guilty verdict against the Defendant. Def.'s Pro Se Mot. to Suppress, ECF No. [682]. The Court denied the motion without prejudice, noting the Defendant failed to identify the proper legal basis for his motion insofar as the trial had already concluded. 1/18/13 Order, ECF No. [683].

The Defendant filed the present motion on March 19, 2013. The Defendant asks the Court to excuse the late filing of his Rule 33 motion pursuant to Rule 45(b), which permits the Court to extend a filing deadline "after the time expires if the party failed to act because of excusable neglect." Fed. R. Cr. P. 45(b)(1)(B). The Court granted the Defendant leave to late file his motion, and now turns to the merits of his arguments.

B. Title III Wiretaps

Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq., provides that a district court may authorize an application for interception of certain wire, oral, and/or electronic communications. 18 U.S.C. § 2518. Section 2518(1) sets forth the requirements for applications seeking Title III authorizations, and provides that applications must include, among other information:

(b) a full and complete statement of the facts and circumstances relied upon by the applicant, to justify his belief that an order should be issued, including... (iv) the identity of the person, if known, committing the offense and whose communications are to be intercepted;
(c) a full and complete statement as to whether or not other investigative procedures have been tried and failed or why they reasonably appear to be unlikely to succeed if tried or to be too dangerous; [and]
(e) a full and complete statement of the facts concerning all previous applications known to the individual authorizing and making the application, made to any judge for authorization to intercept, or for approval of interceptions of, wire, oral, or electronic communications involving any of the same persons, facilities or places ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.