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United States v. Anderson

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

May 29, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
EDWARD J. ANDERSON, IV, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          KAREN K. CALDWELL, CHIEF JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the Defendant's Motion to Suppress. (DE 15). For the reasons stated below, that Motion is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On September 4, 2018, Richmond Police Officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle and located 19 grams of a substance containing fentanyl and 35 grams of methamphetamine wrapped in a yellow dollar general bag. The occupant of the vehicle (“informant”) agreed to cooperate with the police, and he advised Detective Hunter Harrison that the day before, he purchased approximately two ounces of methamphetamine and 20 grams of heroin from an African American male known as E.J. (DE 15-3 at 2.) The informant further stated that he had known E.J. for approximately nine months and met him through an associate named Chris Coleman. (DE 21 at 2.) The police were familiar with Coleman from past drug-trafficking investigations. The informant described E.J. as an African American male with a medium skin-tone, some facial hair, and speaking with a northern accent. The informant provided police with two phone numbers for E.J. (DE 21 at 2.)

         The informant explained that he purchased the drugs from E.J. at an associate's residence on Brooks Road in Madison Village, Richmond, Kentucky (the “Brooks Road Residence”). (DE 21 at 2.) The police were familiar with the Brooks Road Residence and the Denny family, who lived there, from past drug trafficking investigations. The informant stated that E.J. did not live at that residence, but he routinely distributed drugs from there. (DE 21 at 2.) The informant told police that E.J. likely lived in the Madison Village area because it always took a short amount of time for E.J. to meet him at the Brooks Road Residence. The informant stated that he could get more drugs from E.J., and he was willing to set up another purchase. (DE 21 at 2.)

         Harrison discussed the case with other officers at the Richmond Police Department and Sheriff's Office. Detective Jason Parker informed Harrison that the Sheriff's Office had received multiple drug-trafficking complaints about “New England Eddie, ” who lived on Jonathan Drive in Madison Village and matched the physical description of E.J. Parker stated that New England Eddie's information would be in the system from past investigations.

         Harrison searched the police databases and found a license for Edward Anderson living at 113 Jonathan Drive in Madison Village (the “Jonathan Drive Residence”). Additionally, the phone number provided in the police database matched one of the numbers provided by the informant. Harrison then ran the license through additional databases and discovered that Edward Anderson had a previous license issued by Rhode Island and was a convicted felon.

         Harrison also searched Facebook by looking through Coleman's friends. He located a page for Edward Anderson that matched the license picture. Harrison showed both the license and Facebook photos to the informant, who confirmed that the individual pictured was the person who had sold him drugs the day before.

         The informant then contacted E.J. to set up a controlled purchase. The informant texted E.J. “Hey you ready.” E.J. replied “2 whole of clear n 10g food?” (DE 21 at 4.) Detective Harrison knew from his training and experience that “whole” referred to methamphetamine and “food” referred to heroin. (DE 21 at 4.)

         The informant then placed a series of phone calls to E.J. E.J. promptly returned one of the calls and discussed the purchase. The informant and E.J. discussed meeting around 4 p.m. later that day at the Brooks Road Residence “like yesterday.” (DE 21 at 4.) During this call, police also confirmed that Coleman was an associate of both E.J. and the informant.

         Later that day, the informant and E.J. exchanged the following text messages:

Informant: On the interstate now
E.J.: K
E.J.: Got ...

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