United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Rebecca Grady Jennings, District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant, Dwayne
Sheckles's, two Motions to Suppress. [DE 33, DE 68].
Defendant filed his first Motion to Suppress on January 16,
2018. [DE 33]. Subsequently, after motions for discovery and
continuance were filed, an evidentiary hearing was held on
April 27, 2018. [DE 55]. A second hearing on the suppression
matter was held on May 21, 2018. [DE 58]. Sheckles filed a
second Motion to Suppress on August 31, 2018. [DE 68].
Plaintiff, the United States of America, filed timely
responses to the Motions to Suppress, [DE 34, 72, 73], and a
Reply was filed by Sheckles on September 28, 2018. [DE 76].
On November 11, 2018, United States Magistrate Judge Colin H.
Lindsay issued a Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and
Recommendation (“R&R”) on the remaining
issues, recommending that the Motions to Suppress be denied.
[DE 78]. Objections were timely filed by Defendant. [DE 79].
These matters are now ripe for adjudication.
reasons set forth below, the Court OVERRULES Defendant's
Objections [DE 79], ACCEPTS Magistrate Judge Lindsay's
R&R without modification [DE 78] and DENIES
Defendant's Motions to Suppress [DE 33, 68].
makes no objections to the R&R's factual findings.
[DE 78]. As such, those factual findings are incorporated by
reference and relied on as true for purposes of discussing
Sheckles's objections to the Magistrate Judge
Lindsay's legal analysis.
Standard Of Review.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Federal Rule of Criminal
Procedure 59(b)(1), a district court may refer a motion to
suppress to a Magistrate Judge to conduct an evidentiary
hearing, if necessary, and submit proposed findings of fact
and recommendations for the disposition of the motion. This
Court must “make a de novo determination of those
portions of the report or specific proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C); Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3). After
reviewing the evidence, the Court is free to accept, reject,
or modify the proposed findings or recommendations of the
Magistrate Judge. Id. The Court, however, need not
review, under a de novo or any other standard, those aspects
of the report and recommendation to which no specific
objection is made. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150
(1985). Rather, the Court may adopt the findings and rulings
of the Magistrate Judge to which no specific objection is
filed. Id. at 151.
Objections To Probable Cause For The Cell Phone Location
first objects to “toll analysis” being accepted
as contributing to the establishment of probable cause for
the cell-phone location tracker instead of being dismissed as
wholly conclusory. [DE 79, at 419; DE. 78, at 406]. Sheckles
argues that “[t]he magistrate's determination that
probable cause existed relied upon the assertion that
‘Rivas-Lopez had contacted a drug recipient in
Louisville by calling the target phone.' The issuing
judge was not provided with any basis to determine the
factual nature of that assertion. . .” [DE 79, at 419].
This is the entirety of Sheckles's objection on this
issue. Moreover, this is identical to the argument made by
the Defendant in his Motion to Suppress. [DE 33, at 121; 33-2
“objection . . . that merely reiterates arguments
previously presented, does not adequately identify alleged
errors on the part of the magistrate judge.” Altyg
v. Berryhill, No. 16-11736, 2017 WL 4296604, at *1 (E.D.
Mich. Sept. 28, 2017). Therefore, Sheckles's repetition
of the arguments already made in his Motion to Suppress is
insufficient to qualify as an objection. As such, the Court
need not conduct a de novo review of the Magistrate
Judge's report with regard to Sheckles's first
objection. Ells v. Colvin, No. 3:16-CV-00604-TBR,
2018 WL 1513674, at *2 (W.D. Ky. Mar. 27, 2018).
even if the Court were to consider the merits of this
objection and conduct a de novo review, the R&R is
well-reasoned on this issue. When a defendant challenges the
constitutionality of a warrant-supported search, the court
must “simply . . . ensure that the magistrate had a
substantial basis for concluding that probable cause
existed.” United States v. Laughton, 409 F.3d
744, 747 (6th Cir. 2005). “[G]reat deference”
should be accorded to the magistrate's original
determination. United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897,
914 (1984). A warrant's supporting affidavit establishes
probable cause if it contains, on its face, “facts that
indicate a fair probability that evidence of a crime will be
located on the premises of the proposed search.”
United States v. Frazier, 423 F.3d 526, 531 (6th
Cir. 2005) (internal quotations omitted). Those facts must be
particularized enough to inform the reviewing
magistrate's probable cause determination;
“boilerplate recitations designed to meet all law
enforcement needs” are inadequate. Illinois v.
Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 239 (1983); United States v.
Weaver, 99 F.3d 1372, 1378 (6th Cir. 1998). Likewise,
mere “suspicions, beliefs or conclusions” are
the detective's affidavit relayed detailed, clear, and
precise information from the undercover agent, specifically
that Mr. Rivas-Lopez had contacted a drug recipient in
Louisville by calling the target phone. It was reasonable to
suspect, because the target phone was prepaid, owned by an
anonymous person, and was used to contact a drug recipient,
that tracking the phone would lead to a drug trafficker and
possibly a stash location. After considering the arguments of
the parties, the Magistrate Judge properly concluded that
probable cause existed and that Defendant's motion to
suppress should be denied.
Objections To Probable Cause For Search of Sheckles's
purports to object to probable cause for the search of his
residence on three grounds. First, Sheckles objects to the
conclusion that the target pinging outside the apartment to
be searched and the fact that Sheckles was seen leaving one
of the apartments with many bags was sufficient to establish
probable cause to search. [DE 79, at 419; DE 78, at 409]. As
to support for this argument Sheckles merely states that
“[s]urely this cannot suffice to establish a likelihood
of criminal activity.” ...