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United States v. Tate

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

December 17, 2019

DIABLO D. TATE, Defendant.



         This matter comes before the Court upon Defendant Diablo Tate's Addendum to Motion to Suppress evidence seized from his residence because the search violated the Fourth Amendment. (Doc. 20). For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Defendant's Motion.

         I. Background Facts

         On June 28, 2019, Defendant filed a Motion to Suppress evidence found at his residence because Detective Alcantara's Affidavit for Search Warrant (the “Affidavit”) did not contain probable cause. (Doc. 11). Specifically, Defendant argued that the Affidavit was based solely on evidence uncovered during a trash-pull. The Court disagreed with Defendant's interpretation of the Affidavit and denied his Motion on July 11, 2019. (Doc. 14).

         After the Court's denial of Defendant's original Motion, Defendant received additional evidence in the form of surveillance footage from the Government. Defendant believes the footage calls into question the truthfulness of the Affidavit. As such, Defendant requested a hearing under Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978).

         The Government filed a Response to Defendant's Addendum on December 9, 2019. (Doc. 21). The Government argues Defendant is not entitled to an evidentiary hearing because Detective Alcantara's statement is neither false nor misleading and the Affidavit contains sufficient facts to establish probable cause to search Defendant's residence.

         A day after the Government filed its Response, it provided the Court a copy of the video surveillance. The video is over seven hours long. It captured the suspect residence where two vehicles were parked in the driveway. The recording begins while it is still dark. Around the 1:52:30 mark, a vehicle arrived at the residence, pulling in and out a couple times. The driver exited the vehicle and walked towards the house. Roughly thirty seconds passed before a person walked back to the vehicle.[1] Within three minutes of arriving on the recording, the vehicle reversed down the street away from the residence.

         The next period of activity begins around the 3:50:25 mark when a dark vehicle slowly drove by the residence. By this time, it is light out. The vehicle parked on the opposite side of the street and remained idle before driving away. Minutes later, the same car came back and parked in the original spot across the street. The driver exited the vehicle and walked towards the residence with something in his hand. Within the next two minutes, two people left the residence and drove the two cars parked in the driveway away. The dark vehicle remained parked on the street for over an hour.

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Standard of Review

         The Court has previously stated the appropriate standard of review for typical Fourth Amendment challenges to a search warrant in its prior Opinion and Order. (Doc. 14). Relevant here is when may a court question the validity of an affidavit for search warrant, as there is “a presumption of validity” in the typical case. Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 171 (1978). That questioning arises if the affidavit contains false statements that are shown to have been made knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, and if those false statements were necessary to the finding of probable cause. Id. at 155-56. In such a case, the evidence seized pursuant to the warrant will be suppressed. Id. at 156. Inaccurate statements that are the result of mere negligence or innocent mistake however, do not fall within the framework of Franks. Id. at 171. A Franks claim entails a two-part analysis: “(1) whether the defendant has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the affidavit contains deliberately or recklessly false statements and (2) whether the affidavit, without the false statements, provides the requisite probable cause to sustain the warrant.” United States v. Charles, 138 F.3d 257, 263 (6th Cir. 1998).

         Defendant argues he is entitled to a Franks hearing because the Affidavit contained false and misleading information. To be entitled to a hearing, Defendant must satisfy a heavy burden. United States v. Bennett, 905 F.2d 931, 934 (6th Cir. 1990). Defendant's “allegations must be more than conclusory. He must point to specific false statements that he claims were made intentionally or with reckless disregard for the truth.” Id. (citing Franks, 438 U.S. at 171). Moreover, Defendant should accompany his allegations with an offer of proof, such as “[a]ffidavits or sworn or otherwise reliable statements of witnesses.” Franks, 438 U.S. at 171.

         B. False Statements Made Deliberately or Recklessly

         Defendant claims the following two sentences in the Affidavit are false and misleading: “During surveillance, Detectives observed vehicle traffic during the early morning hours at the address. People would exit the car, enter the home, and return to the car a short time later.” (Doc. 11-2, PageID: 46-47) (emphasis added). According to Defendant, the video surveillance only shows one car and one person approach the ...

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