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United States v. Hendricks

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

February 28, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ERICK JAMAL HENDRICKS, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JOHN R. ADAMS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court are two motions for protective orders filed by the Government. In its first motion, the Government requests that the Court take certain steps to protect the identity of an undercover employee within the FBI (“UCE”). Doc. 63. In its second motion, the Government requests that the Court similarly take certain steps to protect the identity of a confidential human source (“CHS-4”). Doc. 64. The Defendant, Erick Jamal Hendricks, has responded in opposition in part to the motions. The Court now resolves the motions.

         Hendricks is charged with one count of conspiring to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and one count on attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization. More specifically, the Government asserts that it will prove that Hendricks engaged in efforts in the spring of 2015 to create of cell of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (“ISIL”) supporters in the United States. The superseding indictment in this matter further asserts:

g. Defendant directed individuals such as A.A., and others known and unknown, to connect Defendant to other like-minded individuals for recruitment by Defendant.
h. Defendant distributed documents to recruits that provided advice on how to avoid law enforcement detection.
i. Defendant provided suggestions to recruits about materials they should read, including lectures by Anwar Al-Awlaki and materials that contained bomb-making instructions and information on law enforcement surveillance methods.
j. Defendant attempted to purchase land to be used for training in military tactics for members of the cell he was recruiting.
k. Defendant met in person with potential recruits to discuss the creation of a cell to conduct attacks in the United States on behalf of ISIL.
l. Defendant claimed that he obtained guidance from “senior brothers” in ISIL.
m. Defendant suggested that UCE travel to Garland, Texas, to a contest for drawing the Prophet Mohammad.
n. Defendant asked UCE about security measures at the contest for drawing the Prophet Mohammad in Garland, Texas.
o. Defendant caused a document to be posted online that claimed “Islamic State in America” committed the attack at the Garland, Texas contest for drawing the Prophet Mohammad and warned of future attacks.

Doc. 25 at 3-4.

         The Government requests the Court implement the following measures with respect to the UCE:

1. The UCE may testify under the UCE's undercover pseudonym when testifying at trial, without disclosing publically the true identity of the UCE;
2. The defense shall be prohibited from asking any questions seeking personal identifying information from the UCE;
3. The UCE may testify using a light disguise, such as changing the UCE's facial hair, hairstyle, or dress style;
4. When the UCE testifies, only the Court, essential personnel, the jury, the defendant and his counsel, and the government's trial team shall be present in the courtroom. The government shall provide a contemporaneous audio broadcast of the courtroom proceeding while the UCE is testifying for the public in a separate room.
5. No public disclosure of any audio or video recording, or similar reproduction of the voice or visual image of the UCEs while testifying, shall be permitted.
6. The UCE shall be permitted to use a non-public entrance/exit to the courthouse and the courtroom, shall be permitted to enter the courtroom and sit in the witness chair outside the presence of the jury and defendant, and ...

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