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United States v. Cooper

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

February 20, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DEXTER DURRELL COOPER, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          KAREN K. CALDWELL, CHIEF JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on numerous pre-trial motions filed by Defendant Dexter Durrell Cooper. For the reasons explained below, these motions are denied.

         On July 14, 2017, Cooper filed an unusually formatted motion consisting of sixteen exhibits. (DE 40).[1] Three of those exhibits purport to be motions. Exhibit 1 is styled Notice of Motion of Denial of Any and All Alleged Charges. (DE 40-1). It contains no argument, asks the Court to take judicial notice of irrelevant public laws, and seeks a claim for relief under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b). Because this is a criminal proceeding and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply this motion is denied. Exhibit 2 is styled Notice of Motion of Constitutional Challenge to All Federal Statues and alleges due process violations. (DE 40-2). In this supposed motion, Cooper restates verbatim Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 5.1, which is irrelevant to this criminal proceeding, claims his charges are fraudulent, and lists a number of irrelevant constitutional amendments. It is also denied. Exhibit 16 is styled as a Notice of Motion and Motion to be Heard. (DE 40-12) and fails to state a basis for relief. The remaining thirteen exhibits do not purport to be motions and therefore the Court will not address them except to note that any effort by Cooper to disclaim United States citizenship is irrelevant to this Court's jurisdiction over him. See Robinson v. United States, 144 F.2d 392, 396 (6th Cir. 1944) (“The presence of appellant in the Kentucky District Court gave it complete jurisdiction over his person, regardless of how his presence was secured.”) (citing Albrecht v. United States, 273 U.S. 1, 10 (1927)).

         On September 27, 2017, Cooper filed an untitled motion, again incorrectly invoking Rule 12(b) of the Civil Rules of Procedure. (DE 56). Cooper's substantive argument is that the arrest warrant (DE 2, DE 7) was not based on probable cause supported by oath and affirmation and violated Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rules 3 and 4. These arguments are meritless. Cooper's arrest warrant was based upon a grand jury indictment charging him with possession with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. (DE 1). An indictment “by a properly constituted grand jury, conclusively determines existence of probable cause for the purpose of holding the accused to answer.” Ex parte United States, 287 U.S. 241, 250 (1932). Thus, Cooper's arrest warrant was proper under Rule 9 and did not need to be supported by a criminal complaint. Fed. R. Crim. P. 9(a) (“The court must issue a warrant . . . for each defendant named in an indictment . . . .”).

         On October 2, 2017, Cooper filed another untitled motion, (DE 58), which, in large part, restated arguments from his motion to suppress, (DE 24), and made objections to the Magistrate Judge's Recommended Disposition, (DE 44). Those objections have been considered de novo by this Court and denied. (DE 107). This motion also contains unsubstantiated allegations that Magistrate Judge Wier failed to act impartially. Cooper also claims that he had a right to notice of his grand jury hearing and that he should have been given the right to present evidence to the grand jury. No. such right exists. Fed. R. Cr. P. 6(d) (“The following persons may be present while the grand jury is in session: attorneys for the government, the witness being questioned, interpreters when needed, and a court reporter or an operator of a recording device.”). Thus, to the extent that claims exist in this motion not addressed by the Court's previous Order, (DE 107), this motion is denied.

         Next, on November 8, 2017, Cooper filed a Motion for Personal Recognizance Bond. (DE 66).[2] This motion restates his belief that Criminal Rules 3 and 4 were violated. For the reasons discussed above, this claim is meritless. Cooper's arrest warrant was properly issued based on a grand jury indictment pursuant to Rule 9. Cooper also appears to argue that the Magistrate Judge who issued his arrest warrant, was not neutral or detached. He provides no support for this allegation and the claim is particularly irrelevant where, as here, the arrest warrant was based on a grand jury indictment under Rule 9, not a sworn complaint by an officer under Rule 3.

         During his competency hearing, Cooper sought to make an oral motion under Criminal Rule 12.4 and was instructed to file that motion in writing. (DE 69). Cooper filed his Rule 12.4 Disclosure Statement Motion Violation on November 21, 2017. (DE 71). This motion is irrelevant to these proceedings. Rule 12.4 requires a “nongovernmental corporate party” to “file a statement identifying any parent corporation, ” Fed. R. Cr. P. 12.4(a)(1) and the government to file a statement identifying “if an organization is a victim of the alleged criminal activity, ” Fed. R. Cr. P. 12.4(a)(2). The parties to this case are the United States and Dexter Cooper, neither of which is a nongovernmental corporate party. The United States has stated that there are no organizational victims in this case. (DE 88).[3]

         On November 22, 2017, Cooper filed a Motion for Complaint of the United States Chief Judge Failure of Allowing Attorney for the Government to Bypass Strictly Compliance of Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures Rule 3. (DE 72). This motion also claims violations of Rules 4 and 5 based on the lack of a criminal complaint. As explained above, Cooper's arrest warrant was based on a grand jury indictment and proper under Rule 9.

         Cooper filed three Motions for Opportunity to be heard on November 27, 2017. In his first motion, (DE 75), Cooper reiterated claims that he believes the Police Incident Report was altered. This claim has been addressed and rejected in the Court's Order adopting the Magistrate Judge's Recommended Disposition. (DE 107). Cooper also continues to make the bizarre challenge to the use of certain evidence in his competency evaluation, despite his agreement with the report's conclusion that he is competent. Because Cooper stated during his competency hearing that he is not challenging that determination, his disagreement with the evaluators decision to rely on certain evidence is moot.

         Cooper's second motion to be heard concerns proceedings on state charges. (DE 76).[4] He claims that he was not afforded due process when his state charges were dismissed. This argument is irrelevant to this federal criminal proceeding. Cooper also makes various arguments that the evidence does not show he possessed cocaine. These arguments are better suited for trial, not pre-trial motions.

         The third motion to be heard concerns the Court's statement during Cooper's competency hearing that a number of his letters were not clearly identified as motions. (DE 77). This motion, which is difficult to decipher due to its invocation of irrelevant legal standards such as Civil Rule 12(b) and laches, is moot since the Court is addressing all pending motions now that Cooper's competency hearing has been completed and all stays have been lifted.

         On November 28, 2017, Cooper filed a motion to dismiss. (DE 78). In this motion, Cooper again argues that Criminal Rule 3 was violated. For the reasons discussed above it is denied.

         Another motion to be heard was filed by Cooper on November 30, 2017. (DE 81). This motion restates arguments made in his original motion to suppress, and subsequent objections to the Magistrate Judge's Recommended Disposition, that officers lacked probable cause to impound and search his vehicle. For the reasons discussed in the Court's order adopting the Recommended Disposition, this motion is denied. (DE 107).

         Cooper also filed a Criminal Complaint on November 30, 2017. (DE 82). While not a motion requiring adjudication, the Court notes that this filing is wholly irrelevant to Cooper's defense of the charges against him.

         Cooper filed a motion to be heard and motion to dismiss on December 12, 2017. (DE 95). This motion, however, merely restates arguments made in his earlier motion to suppress (DE 24) and addressed by the Court in its previous order ...


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