United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. Bunning United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Suppress all evidence seized from his person at a hotel on
February 21, 2018. (Doc. # 16). In his Motion, Mr. McCloud
alleges that Florence, Kentucky police officers lacked
probable cause to arrest him and that all evidence seized
thereafter should be suppressed. (Doc. # 16 at 3).
September 19, 2018, the Court held an evidentiary hearing on
the Motion. (Doc. # 19). Defendant McCloud was present at the
hearing and represented by attorney Steven Howe. The United
States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney
Anthony Bracke. The hearing was recorded by the Official
Court Reporter Lisa Wiesman (Doc. # 21). Prior to the
hearing, the Defendant filed a memorandum in support of his
Motion to Suppress (Doc. # 16) and the United States filed a
Response in Opposition (Doc. # 17). The deadline for
Defendant's reply brief having expired, the Motion is now
ripe for the Court's review. For the reasons set forth
herein, Defendant's Motion to Suppress (Doc. # 16) is
FINDINGS OF FACT
witnesses testified during the evidentiary hearing on behalf
of the United States: Florence, Kentucky Police Officer Marc
Richardson and DEA Supervisor Special Agent Brian Stine. The
Defendant called no witnesses. Weighing the credibility of
the witnesses, the Court makes the following factual
1. In the late afternoon on February 20, 2018, Florence,
Kentucky Police Officer Marc Richardson arrived at a hotel
room on Houston Road in Florence as part of an undercover
operation to apprehend a woman who had solicited as a
prostitute on Craigslist. (Doc. # 21 at 7:23-8:4; 23:2-9;
29:5-8). When Officer Richardson arrived at the hotel room,
he found two women present, both of whom offered sex in
exchange for money. (Doc. # 21 at 7:22-8:3). While Officer
Richardson was citing the women with prostitution, Florence,
Kentucky Police Sergeant Reed arrived on the scene. (Doc. #
21 at 8:5).
2. While one of the women was pulling out her ID, Sergeant
Reed observed what he thought was methamphetamine in her
purse. (Doc. # 21 at 8:5-7). The officers then proceeded to
search the entire room, finding additional methamphetamine.
(Doc. # 21 at 8:8-9). The women agreed to give the officers
the identity of their methamphetamine supplier. (Doc. # 21 at
3. At the police officers' request, the women arranged to
purchase additional narcotics from their supplier and have
the drugs delivered to their hotel room with the officers
present. (Doc. # 21 at 8:10-16). The women set up the
purchase and their supplier [hereinafter the
“Informant”] arrived with the requested drugs.
(Doc. # 21 at 8:17- 23). Shortly thereafter, officers
detained the Informant. (Doc. # 21 at 8:14-16).
4. Upon his detention by the police, the Informant told
Officer Richardson that he would arrange a purchase of
methamphetamine through his supplier, who went by the
initials “S.P.” (Doc. # 21 at 9:17-20).
Specifically, the Informant stated that he could obtain five
ounces of methamphetamine for $2, 500 from S.P. that evening.
(Doc. # 21 at 9:20-21). The Informant described S.P. as a
“skinny black male, ” who drove a dark blue,
four-door vehicle with tinted windows and who always carried
a firearm. (Doc. # 21 at 9:22-10:4; 10:16-19).
5. After the Informant indicated that he was interested in
cooperating, the police officers took the Informant to the
Florence, Kentucky police station to conduct an interview.
(Doc. # 21 at 12:10-12). Prior to the interview, Officer
Richardson checked the Informant's criminal history and
had the Informant sign a cooperation agreement. (Doc. # 21 at
30:12-20). During the interview, the Informant agreed to
arrange a drug purchase with S.P. by phone, to occur very
early the next morning. (Doc. # 21 at 12:14-19).
6. At 11:45 p.m., the Informant called S.P., who was already
saved as a contact in the Informant's phone. (Doc. # 21
at 12:14-19; 41:17-42:6). During the phone call, which was
recorded, the Informant told S.P. that “he needed five,
” meaning five ounces of methamphetamine. (Doc. # 21 at
12:16-13:6). S.P. agreed. (Doc. # 21 at 12:16-17). During
either the same phone call or during a subsequent call, the
Informant also asked S.P. to bring him two grams of
“boy” (the street name for heroin). (Doc. # 21 at
14:2-8). S.P. also agreed to this request. (Doc. # 21 at
14:9-10). The Informant told Officer Richardson that the
transaction with S.P. would take place in his hotel room at
the Days Inn on Cavalier Drive, where the Informant had been
staying. (Doc. # 21 at 10:19-11:14; 14:20-15:5).
7. After the Informant made the initial phone call to S.P.,
Officers Richardson and Samad as well as Sergeant Reed
escorted the Informant to his hotel room on the second floor
of the Days Inn. (Doc. # 21 at 14:12-13; 20:14-17). Sergeant
Reed was communicating with Drug Enforcement Agency
(“DEA”) agents stationed in the parking lot, one
of whom was Supervising Agent Brian Stine. (Doc. # 21 at
8. Prior to arriving at the hotel room, the Informant
notified Officer Richardson that there were illegal drugs in
his hotel room and told police officers exactly where the
drugs were located within the room. (Doc. # 21 at 14:13-16;
15:6-21). The Informant consented to a full search of the
hotel room and all drugs found were seized. (Doc. # 21 at
14:14-18). Officer Richardson testified that the
Informant's identification of the location of the drugs
was accurate ...