United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
G. Carr Sr. U.S. District Judge.
criminal case, defendant Lloyd Turks faces five drug charges
under 21 U.S.C. § 842. The government alleges, in part,
that Turks sold its informant a mixture containing Schedule I
controlled substances U47700 and acetyl fentanyl and analogue
controlled substances cyclopropyl fentanyl and methoxyacetyl
fentanyl and that the mixture caused a near-fatal
are Turks's motion for an order authorizing independent
blood testing (Doc. 58) and his motion to produce witnesses
for trial and make available witnesses who are amenable to
pretrial interviews (Doc. 69). For the reasons that follow, I
deny both motions, the latter without
August 22, 2017, law enforcement stopped a vehicle just north
of Dayton, Ohio, and found drugs - including methamphetamine,
cocaine, and, according to Turks, fentanyl - in the
(Doc. 69 at 5; see also Doc. 44 at 3). Turks was not
involved in the Dayton drug deal, but the vehicle's
occupants told law enforcement that they had previously
bought drugs from him. Two of the vehicle's three
passengers agreed to be confidential informants (CIs) in the
government's investigation of Turks. (Doc. 44 at 3, n.2).
Later that evening, the CIs participated in a controlled buy
and purchased cocaine from Turks while under government
surveillance. (Doc. 44 at 3).
next day, on August 23, 2017, “[t]emptation apparently
struck, ” and, on his or her own and not as part of a
controlled buy, one CI bought more drugs from Turks.
(Id. at 4). The CI subsequently overdosed in his or
her hotel room, where the other CI found the overdose victim
and called emergency personnel. (Id.).
later, on August 24, 2017, the overdose victim participated
in another controlled buy, asking Turks for more of the
substance from the previous day. (Doc. 44 at 5). Turks agreed
and provided the victim 6.83 grams of a mixture containing
U47700, acetyl fentanyl, cyclopropyl fentanyl, and
methoxyacetyl fentanyl. (See id.). Authorities then
arrested Turks. (See id.).
government later sent a sample of the victim's blood to
Axis Forensic Technology (AFT) for testing. AFT's tests
detected the presence of that same substances in the
victim's blood as those in the mixture Turks sold in the
August 24, 2017 controlled buy. (See Doc. 44 at 5;
Doc. 53 (filed ex parte)). Only .5 mL of the
victim's blood remains after the testing. (Doc. 73 at 2).
The Request for Independent Blood Testing
asks that I authorize the coroner's department to release
the remaining blood evidence for testing at an independent
laboratory. He asserts that AFT's tests are unreliable
because AFT did not test for heroin in addition to fentanyl
and fentanyl analogues. (See Doc. 58 at 2).
deny this request.
presents no testimony or other evidence casting doubt on the
reliability of AFT's testing methods. Instead, he asks me
to accept his own speculative suppositions about the
propriety of AFT's testing methods. He contends, in
effect, that such guesswork suffices to authorize independent
testing. (See Doc. 53; Doc. 55 at 2). Moreover, the
parties do not dispute that the testing that Turks requests
“will consume the remainder of the blood
evidence.” (Doc. 73 at 3).
has not presented grounds warranting the extraordinary remedy
he seeks, i.e., ordering a further test that would
consume all of the remaining blood sample. Moreover, as
noted, he offers no reason to order independent testing
without proof undermining AFT's tests and results. I
therefore reject his motion for such testing.
The Request for Witness Identification
Turks asks that I “order the Government to produce
certain witnesses for trial whose identities and contact
information were withheld from the defense[.]” (Doc. 69
at 1). He further asks “to inquire of every witness
whose identity has been withheld whether the witness would be
willing to have an interview before trial[, ]” and,