United States District Court, District of Columbia
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
criminal action, Defendant Ivan L. Robinson is charged with
61 counts of knowingly and intentionally distributing a
controlled substance, oxycodone, by writing prescriptions for
that drug outside the usual course of professional practice
and not for a legitimate medical purpose, in violation of 21
U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C), as well as 18 U.S.C.
§ 2. Defendant is also charged with two counts of money
laundering and aiding and abetting. Defendant has moved under
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(b)(3) to suppress
certain statements Defendant made to United States Drug
Enforcement Administration ("DEA") agents that were
allegedly procured unconstitutionally. Upon consideration of
the pleadings, the relevant legal authorities, and the
record as a whole, the Court DENIES Defendant's 
Motion to Suppress.
FINDINGS OF FACT
Court held an evidentiary hearing on Defendant's motion
on May 31, 2017 and June 1, 2017. The Court then granted
Defendant's motion to reconvene that hearing on June 16,
2017 for additional testimony. The Court has considered the
evidence presented at all three days of the hearing. In doing
so, the Court considered the demeanor and behavior of the
witnesses on the stand, the witnesses' manner of
testifying, whether the witnesses impressed the Court as
truthful, whether the witnesses impressed the Court as having
an accurate memory and recollection, whether the witnesses
had any motive for not telling the truth, whether the
witnesses had a full opportunity to observe the matters about
which they testified, and whether the witnesses had any
interest in the outcome of the case, or friendship or
hostility to the other persons concerned with the case. The
Court also considered the reasonableness or unreasonableness
and the probability or improbability of the testimony of the
witnesses in determining whether to accept it as true and
accurate, as well as whether the testimony was contradicted
or supported by other credible evidence. The Court has also
considered the pleadings and the entire record in this case.
The Court credits the testimony of the witnesses Shirley
Powell, Karen Arikpo, Latonya Coates and Jerome Lee as
Court makes the following findings of fact. The Court will
first make findings of fact that are relevant to the
Defendant's motion and undisputed and/or Uncontroverted
by any evidence, and then make findings as to facts mat are
relevant and disputed or controverted by some evidence.
Undisputed or Uncontroverted Relevant Evidence
19, 2013, Defendant Ivan Lamont Robinson approached on foot a
chiropractor's office located at 2041 Martin Luther King
Avenue in Southeast Washington D.C. (the "2041 MLK
Office"). May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 17:2-8, 18:6-8.
The 2041 MLK Office is one of multiple offices Defendant had
registered with the DEA as a location of his practice. May
31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 15:15-23, 113:10-15.
arrived at the 2041 MLK Office sometime shortly after 10:00
a.m. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 101:4-11. By the time he
arrived, DEA and Metropolitan Police Department
("MPD") officers were in the process of executing a
search warrant inside the building. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr.
at 15:12-23. Shirley Powell, a Diversion Investigator with
the DEA, was standing outside of the 2041 MLK Office with an
MPD officer. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 16:21-17:1.
Investigator Powell wore a jacket with the letters
"DEA" on it. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
17:21-18:1. She was not armed and she had no arrest powers.
May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 13:2-7, 41:15-17. The MPD
officer was uniformed and armed. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
16:23-24, 60:10-15. There were also marked and unmarked
police cars parked in the vicinity. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr.
at 46:6-8. There were no lights or sirens on, and the street
was not cordoned off, but the police had created a perimeter
around the search and were directing traffic at times. May
31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 47:3-4; June 1, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
58:6-8. Individuals who tried to enter the 2041 MLK Office
during the search, such as patients, were being stopped,
asked to identify themselves, and asked if they would agree
to be interviewed and photographed. June 16, 2017Hr'g Tr.
Jerome Lee with the Arlington County Police Department was
one of the individuals helping to execute the search warrant
inside the 2041 MLK Office when Defendant was seen
approaching by Investigator Powell. June 16, 2017 Hr'g
Tr. at 71:19-21, 73:2-5. Investigator Powell called Detective
Lee and told him to come outside, which he did. June 16, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 73:18-21. Detective Lee wore ajacket that
said "Police Officer, " and was armed. June 16,
2017 Hr'g Tr. at 74:15-18.
the exact details of the initial conversation that Detective
Lee and Investigator Powell had with the Defendant are not
completely clear, the Court credits the following testimony.
Detective Lee told the Defendant that they were "just
here to execute a search warrant on your premises" and,
importantly, that "we are not here to arrest you."
June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 75:4-5. Investigator Powell
told Defendant that they were "conducting a search
warrant and [she] wanted to know if he didn't mind being
interviewed." May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 18:14-15.
Powell presented Defendant with her credentials. May 31, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 18:19-20. Defendant responded "no
problem." May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 19:1. The Court
finds that at this point Defendant had an opportunity to
decline to be interviewed and walk away, but opted not to.
Lee asked Defendant to come inside so that he could make a
copy of his identification. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
75:5-8. When they had entered the building, Defendant reached
into his pocket to retrieve his Id. June 16, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 75:11-14, 75:24-76:1. At that point,
Detective Lee told the Defendant that he needed to pat him
down for safety purposes to make sure that he did not have
any weapons. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 75:12-14, 76:1-2.
During the pat down, Detective Lee felt a bulge that he
concluded was currency and told Defendant to take it out of
his pocket. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 105:16-18.
Defendant then reached into his own pockets and removed their
contents, including the currency, his identification and
other cards, two condoms, house keys and a cell phone, and
placed them on a countertop in the vestibule. June 16, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 105:24-25, 106:6-11. Detective Lee told
Defendant that these items would be photographed and then
returned to him, with the exception of the currency and the
cell phone, which would be seized pursuant to the search
warrant. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 78:3-79:16, 116:9-18.
Another law enforcement agent took Defendant's picture,
in the same manner that other individuals on the premises
were being photographed. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
108:10-109:22. Detective Lee never handcuffed or otherwise
restrained the Defendant. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
accounts, there was a considerable law enforcement
presence-including approximately 20 individuals-at the 2041
MLK Office executing the search warrant. May 31, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 59:8-11; June 1, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 58:1-2.
That operation was being conducted in a calm and orderly
fashion. June 1, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 60:11-16. In addition
to witnessing the search of the 2041 MLK Office, there was
testimony that Defendant was also aware that search warrants
were being executed at other locations that day, including
Defendant's home, and two other business locations
identified on Defendant's DEA registration, including a
nearby dentist's office (2021 Martin Luther King Avenue,
Washington D.C., or the "2021 MLK Office"). May 31,
2017 Hr'g Tr. at 112:14-114:2; June 1, 2017 Hr'g Tr.
at 67:11-12, 67:16-69:4.
Lee told Defendant that after he made a copy of his
identification and took pictures of the items that Defendant
had removed from his pockets, Defendant was "free to
leave, " "allowed to leave, " and that he
"could leave at any time." June 16, 2017 Hr'g
Tr. at 84:3-8. He explicitly told the Defendant that he did
not have to stay on the premises during the execution of the
search warrant, but that if he left, it was DEA policy that
he would not be allowed to reenter the building during the
execution of the warrant. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
84:3-11. Defendant indicated that he wanted to stay to watch
the warrant being executed. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
84:12-17. Defendant was not surrounded by other law
enforcement agents while this conversation took place. June
16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 88:14-17. Investigator Powell was
nearby, but stood several feet back from the Defendant and
Detective Lee. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 88:1-22. After
Defendant had decided to stay, he and Detective Lee, in
reference to the two condoms that Defendant had produced,
engaged in a casual conversation about their respective sex
lives. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 84:21-85:7. Detective
Lee eventually asked Defendant "do you mind if my
partners interview you?" June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
85:18-20. Defendant replied "no problem, I will talk to
them." June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 85:18-20. The Court
finds that Defendant again at this point had a clear
opportunity to leave and not be interviewed, but voluntarily
opted to stay.
chose where the interview would take place within the 2041
MLK Office, and he led Investigator Powell to that location.
May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 19:5-17, 23:6-16, 100:7-10; June
1, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 34:3-5. He chose the office of a
colleague. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 69:11-16.
Defendant's own office was being searched at the time.
May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 69:24-70:3. The items that
Detective Lee had told Defendant would be returned to him had
not yet been returned by the time he went into this office
for the interview. June 16, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
127:23-128:2. Defendant also did not have his car keys, but
not because they had been seized from the Defendant's
person, but instead because he had left them in his car.
See Gov.'s Ex. 8.
did not begin immediately after Defendant and Investigator
Powell arrived at the office Defendant had chosen for the
interview. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 23:17-21.
Investigator Powell told Defendant that she wanted to wait
for a DEA agent, Karen Arikpo (nee Karen Taylor) to arrive
before beginning. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 23:17-21.
Neither Investigator Powell nor Defendant spoke during the
time they were waiting. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 24:2-14.
Defendant sat in a chair near the door, and Investigator
Powell sat in a chair further into the office against a wall.
May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 25:21-22. An MPD officer was
also in the office, and stood by the door, but enough room
remained that Defendant could have passed through the open
door without the officer needing to move. May 31, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 24:15-17, 71:13-20, 100:15-23. Defendant
chose where to sit on his own. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
25:24-26:3. While the two waited for Agent Arikpo, the door
to the office remained open. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at
24:22-23. Defendant was not handcuffed or otherwise
restrained in any way. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 24:18-21;
June 1, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 20:23-21:4. The Court finds that
during this period Defendant had an opportunity to reconsider
his decision to agree to be interviewed and to walk away-as
he had already been told he was free to do-but again opted to
Arikpo arrived approximately ten minutes later from the
Defendant's home. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 24:9-11.
When she arrived, Agent Arikpo identified herself and
presented her credentials to the Defendant. May 31, 2017
Hr' g Tr. at 26:16-17, 117:1 - 5. Agent Arikpo is
employed by the MPD, but is also a Tactical Diversion Officer
with the DEA Washington Field Office. May 31, 2017 Hr'g
Tr. at 111:7-10. She was wearing a vest with the letters
"MPD" on it, also referred to as "raid
gear." May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 26:17-19, 117:4-5;
June 1, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 75:17-76:1. Unlike Investigator
Powell, Agent Arikpo has arrest powers and was armed. May 31,
2017 Hr'g Tr. at 41:18-21, 111:21-22; June 1, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 76:2-5. Once Agent Arikpo arrived, or perhaps
shortly before that time, the MPD officer left the office.
May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 26:22-25.
Agent Arikpo walked into the office she said "Hello
I'm Detective [Arikpo] with the Metropolitan Police
Department." May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 117:4-5.
Defendant responded "Hello" and "I think I
remember you." May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 117:6-7.
Agent Arikpo answered "You probably do." May 31,
2017 Hr'g Tr. at 117:7. Agent Arikpo testified that
Defendant may have recognized her from a previous instance
when she had visited his practice in response to a complaint.
June 1, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 80:2-81:4. Investigator Powell
then told Defendant why they were there and that they
"just wanted to talk to him about some things that had
been going on with the practice." May 31, 2017 Hr'g
Tr. at 117:10-13. The Defendant responded "okay"
and that "he had nothing to hide." May 31, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 117:16. No one stood or sat between Defendant
and the door. May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 27:4-8,
29:22-30:1. Defendant was not read Miranda rights.
May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 118:7-12; June 1, 2017 Hr'g
Tr. at 81:8-10.
evidentiary hearing, the parties focused considerably on
several answers that Defendant gave to certain questions
during the ensuing interview. Both parties attempted to
portray these answers as not being responsive to the
interviewers' questions. See, e.g., May 31, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 28:20-22, 84:25-85:2. The Court rejects this
characterization of Defendant's responses. The Court
finds that the responses Defendant gave were rationally
connected to the questions posed and merely provided
additional details to his answers. For example, when asked
about his occupation, Defendant responded that he was a nurse
practitioner but also volunteered information about his prior
military involvement, claiming that he was the "first
African or black male to take down a Mexican cartel."
May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 28:24-29:4; June 1, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 28:16-32:1. The Court finds that
Defendant's response was a reasonable supplement to his
answer about his occupation. The Court interprets the
statement as an attempt on Defendant's part to impress or
ingratiate himself with his interviewers by playing on a
well-established symbiotic relationship between law
enforcement and the military. This interpretation is
buttressed by Agent Arikpo's description of the
Defendant, which the Court credits, as "very sure of
himself and "kind of cocky" during the interview.
June 1, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 23:23-24:1. It is also
consistent with Investigator Powell's description of the
Defendant, which the Court also credits, as "excited to
talk to us" and "excited to be in the presence of
law enforcement expressing his association with being in the
military as a law enforcement special forces or something to
that nature." May 31, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 103:22-25.
when asked whether he had children, Defendant responded that
he had six children, but also volunteered that he loves
having sex because it helps him to eliminate stress. May 31,
2017 Hr'g Tr. at 79:20-24. This additional information is
not irrelevant or nonresponsive-it is an explanation for why
Defendant has six children, and one that is in line with an
attempt to impress or entertain his interviewers. This
conclusion is buttressed by Detective Lee's testimony
that the Defendant had just engaged in a similar conversation
about his sex life before the interview began. June 16, 2017
Hr'g Tr. at 84:21-85:7. When testifying before the grand
jury, Agent Arikpo stated that when she learned that
Defendant had six children, she had a concern because she did
not know when they were going to be finished with the