United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
C. NUGENT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Motion to Suppress Search
Warrants and Arrest; Fourth Amendment Violation; Request for
Evidentiary Hearing (Docket #36) and the Supplemental Motion
to Suppress (Docket #45) filed by Defendant, Damar Ruffin. A
hearing on Mr. Ruffin's Motion to Suppress was held on
November 17, 2017. (Docket #52.) Postal Inspector Marc Kudley
of the United States Postal Inspection Service and Detective
Chris Carney of the Akron Police Department, Narcotics Unit,
testified on behalf of the United States.
Factual and Procedural Background.
November 13, 2015, a Federal Search Warrant was issued and
executed on U.S. Postal Service Parcel bearing Label No.
EL099437390US, addressed to Jessica Bank, 2045 White Pond
Dr., Akron OH 44313, with a return address of Brandon Elliot,
4301 W. Nichols, Sacramento, CA 95820. (Docket #39, Exhibit
1.) During their search of the Parcel, Postal Inspectors
found approximately five pounds of methamphetamine concealed
in two white plastic cylinders. On November 13, 2015, a
controlled delivery of the Parcel was made and the Parcel was
transferred by a Postal Supervisor to Postal Carrier Jalila
S. Stoudemire, who was suspected of being involved in the
distribution of methamphetamine, for delivery on her route.
Instead of delivering the Parcel - and a second parcel,
Parcel No. EL09943739045, containing approximately three
pounds of methamphetamine for which a search warrant was also
issued and controlled delivery executed - Ms. Stoudemire
scanned both Parcels as delivered but transferred the Parcels
at the end of her shift to her personal vehicle at the Post
Office. She then drove her personal vehicle with the two
Parcels inside to 665 W. Exchange Street, Akron OH 44302, an
address known to law enforcement as being associated with
Carrier Stoudemire was arrested in the driveway of 665 W.
Exchange Street and the Parcels were recovered from her
personal vehicle. After Postal Carrier Stoudemire was
arrested, authorities arrested Damar Ruffin behind 665 W.
Exchange Street as he attempted to flee from the back of the
house. Mr. Ruffin was charged with a State felony offense
relating to the methamphetamine being delivered to 665 W.
Exchange Street. (Docket #39, Exhibit 2.) Two cellular phones
(LG and Kyocera), and $1, 340.00 in U.S. Currency, were
seized from Mr. Ruffin at the time of his arrest. Two hours
later, officers secured a Search Warrant for 665 W. Exchange
Street. (Docket #36, Exhibit B.)
November 16, 2017, a Search Warrant was issued for the cell
phones seized during Mr. Ruffin's arrest. Chris Carney, a
Detective with the Akron Police Department, Narcotics Unit,
submitted an Affidavit in support of the issuance of the
Search Warrant, stating as follows:
1. Affiant is a member of the Akron Police Department and has
been so employed for the past 18 years, his current
assignment is with the Akron Narcotic Unit.
2. Affiant states that on 11-13-15 two packages addressed to
Jessica Bank 2045 White Pond Dr. Akron, Ohio 44313 and Ms.
Dena J Watkins 1695 Liberty Dr. Akron Ohio 44313 were
interdicted at the United States Post Office. Federal search
warrants were sought and obtained for the parcels.
3. Affiant states that on 11-13-15 the above packages were
opened. The parcel addressed to White Pond contained
approximately 5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine The parcel
addressed to 1695 Liberty Drive contained approximately 3
pounds of crystal Methamphetamine.
4. Affiant is aware that a controlled delivery operation was
undertaken where the two packages, known to contain
methamphetamine, were provided to a postal carrier who was
suspected of diverting drug packages for area drug
traffickers. One package was outfitted with a device which
made it possible to track the location of the package through
its GPS coordinates.
5. Affiant is aware that detectives maintained surveillance
on the postal carrier. Affiant is aware that neither package
was delivered. During the course of her daily routine. The
postal carrier was seen leaving the post office with the
packages still in her possession. She was followed to 665 W
Exchange St where she was arrest prior to delivering the
parcels. Damar D Ruffin at the time the arrest was made and
is believed to be one of intended recipients of the parcels.
6. Affiant states that 665 W Exchange St is within the city
limits of Akron.
7. Affiant states that Damar D Ruffin was arrested and
charged with Possession of Sch II Crystal Methamphetamine 8.
Affiant states that Damar D Ruffin was searched incident to
his arrest and found in possession of the above described
9. Affiant is aware based on his training; education and
experience that individuals involved in illicit drug activity
often keep contacts and transaction ...