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Wilson v. United States

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

March 31, 2015

EARNEST WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants

Page 15

EARNEST WILSON, Plaintiff, Pro se, Chicago, IL.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, BUREAU OF ALCOHOL TOBACCO FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES, Defendants: Nina Bafundo Crimm, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC; Peter Rolf Maier, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

FREDRICK DEGRAFFENREID, Movant, Pro se, MINERSVILLE, PA.

Page 16

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD W. ROBERTS, Chief United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Earnest Wilson filed this action challenging the government's response to his request involving a firearms trace report that played a role in his conviction for possessing a firearm which had been shipped in interstate commerce. The government filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint, or in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 17, 2000, in Chicago, Illinois, plaintiff was arrested " and charged with a violation of Illinois criminal law . .., Felony Possession/Use Weapon/Firearm -- in case number 00CR0657001." Compl. at 4 (page numbers designated by plaintiff). The Chicago Police Department submitted " a formal request to the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms'] National Tracing Center on February 29, 2000, for a 'trace to purchaser' [report] on the firearm bearing serial number 309-49395 which was the subject of the arrest and charges." Id. ; see id., Ex. 1 (Firearms Trace Summary, Trace Number: T2000041859) at 1 (identifying Ruger pistol, Model P89, bearing serial number 309-49395). According to the Firearms Trace Summary, the pistol was manufactured by Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. in Southport, Connecticut; was shipped on August 23, 1994 to Point Sporting Goods Co., Inc. in Stevens Point, Wisconsin; was shipped on August 30, 1994 to Gat Guns, Inc. in Dundee, Illinois; and was sold on January 23, 1995 to an individual in Schaumburg, Illinois. See id., Ex. 1 at 2.

" Special Agent Michael G. Casey [of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] made an interstate nexus determination

Page 17

in reference to two (2) firearms," one of which was the Ruger. Id., Ex. 3 (Report of Investigation dated September 19, 2001). The determination is reflected in a Report of Investigation:

SYNOPSIS:

On September 19, 2001, Special Agent (SA) Michael G. Casey made an interstate nexus determination in reference to two (2) firearms, which was requested by SA Jeffrey Sisto.
NARRATIVE:
1. SA Casey obtained the descriptions of the following firearms:
One Cobray S.W.D., Inc., model M-11, 9mm semi-automatic pistol, serial number obliterated
One Sturm Ruger, model P89, 9mm semi-automatic pistol, serial number 309-49395
2. SA Casey determined that the above listed firearms were manufactured outside the State of Illinois, and therefore have moved in or affected interstate commerce in at least one point in time. The above listed manufacturers have never maintained a manufacturing plant in the State of Illinois.

Id., Ex. 3 (emphasis added).

According to a criminal complaint filed on October 9, 2001, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, plaintiff was charged with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).[1] Id., Ex. 2 (Criminal Complaint, United States v. Wilson, No. 01CR847 (N.D.Ill. Oct. 9, 2001)) at 1. Supporting the complaint was the affidavit of Jeffrey Sisto, a Special Agent of the United States Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (" ATF" ). Id., Ex. 2 (Criminal Complaint and Affidavit of Jeffrey Sisto (" Sisto Aff." )). In relevant part, the affiant stated:

8. On February 17, 2000, Chicago Police Officers . . . stopped a black 1999 four-door Lincoln Navigator for various traffic violations [in] Chicago, Illinois. After the vehicle stop, it was determined that [plaintiff] was the driver. [Plaintiff] refused to answer questions or give Chicago Police officers his driver's license. After the arrival of another Chicago Police patrol unit, [plaintiff] rolled his window down approximately one-inch and produced a driver's license. Due to [plaintiff's] suspicious behavior, Chicago Police officers requested narcotic K-9's. Two different Chicago Police Department narcotics K-9's showed positive indications to the rear hatch of the vehicle. Based on the traffic violations, the actions of [plaintiff], and the positive indications of the K-9's, Chicago Police obtained a state search warrant. Chicago Police officers executed [the] warrant . . . and recovered a [Sturm] Ruger, 9mm semi-automatic pistol, model P89, serial number 309-49395 from the center console. A green bag containing a magazine loaded with sixteen (16) 9mm rounds of ammunition was located on the front passenger seat.
9. On June 19, 2001, Chicago Police Officers . . . stopped a maroon 2001 four-door Lincoln Navigator for various traffic violations [in] Chicago, Illinois. After the stop, it was determined that [plaintiff] was the driver of the vehicle. After approaching ...

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