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

October 11, 2013

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

MEMORANDUM OPINION

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, District Judge.

Presently before the Court are several pro se, post-trial motions filed by Defendant Gezo Edwards. The Defendant seeks reconsideration of the Court's May 7, 2013 Memorandum Opinion and Order denying the Defendant's pro se motion for a new trial. The present motions for reconsideration, and the five supplemental memoranda filed by the Defendant, constitute the Defendant's fourth pro se (and sixth overall) attempt to suppress evidence obtained from a wiretap on co-Defendant William Bowman's cellular telephone.[1] Upon consideration of the pleadings, [2] the relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court once again finds no basis for granting the requested relief. Accordingly, the Defendant's [767] Motion for Reconsideration, [768] Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration, and [797] Motion to Treat Motions to Reconsider as Conceded are 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." Edwards I, 889 F.Supp.2d at 5-6. The Government obtained the relevant authorizations for TT2 on January 13, February 11, March 11, and April 8, 2011. Id. 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 6. The Government obtained authorizations for TT3 on March 19 and April 15, 2011. Id. 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 of 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

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 specified in the application, and the action taken by the judge on each such application[.]

18 U.S.C. § 2518(1)(b), (e). Defendant Edwards, as an "aggrieved person, " see 18 U.S.C. § 2510(11), moves to suppress the contents of the interceptions on the basis that the communications were "unlawfully intercepted." 18 U.S.C. § 2518(10)(a).

III. DISCUSSION

As a threshold matter, the Court declines the Defendant's invitation to make legal arguments on his behalf. See Def.'s Mot. at 3 ("Edwards would reassert his request that the Court make any other legal grounds for suppression which a lay person such as Edwards would not deduce or fathom[.]'"). Although the Defendant is represented by counsel in this case, the Court is cognizant of Defendant Edwards pro se status with respect to the present motions. But the Court is an arbiter of the arguments offered by the parties, not an advocate for either side. Nor does the Court find it necessary or appropriate to treat the Defendant's motions as conceded. Albeit brief, the Government's initial opposition addresses the merits of the Defendant's legal arguments, emphasizing (correctly) that the Defendant's arguments had previously been addressed by the Court or lacked any legal foundation. The Government's supplemental opposition was filed one day late, but the Government promptly sought leave to late file the pleading, which the Court granted. The Court hall dispose of the Defendant's motions on the merits.

The Defendant's many pleadings boil down to two arguments: the Government failed to satisfy its burden to provide a "full and complete statement" under subsection (b); and the Government failed to meet its burden to provide a "full and complete statement" under subsection (c). Neither argument has merit. Subsection (b) requires the Government to provide "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." 18 U.S.C. § 2518(1)(b). The statute provides that a full and complete statement under this subsection must include "the identity of the person, if known, committing the offense and whose communications are to be intercepted." Id. § 2518(1)(b)(iv). In his First[4] and Fourth Supplements, the Defendant argues that by no later than the March 11 application concerning TT2, the ...


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.