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United States v. Slaughter

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

April 13, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RASHAUNDRE DARIONNO SLAUGHTER, Defendant.

Katharine T. Buzicky, Assistant United States Attorney, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, 300 South Fourth Street, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55415, for the Government.

Manvir K. Atwal, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, 300 South 4th Street, Suite 107, Minneapolis, MN 55415, for Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

TONY N. LEUNG, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court, United States Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung, on Defendant Rashaundre Darionno Slaughter's Motion to Suppress Statements, Admissions and Answers (ECF No. 21). The Court held a motions hearing on March 10, 2015. ( See ECF No. 29.) Manny Atwal represented Defendant. Bradley Endicott appeared on behalf of the Government. The Court heard the testimony of Special Agent Maureen Lese of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Government offered and the Court received the following exhibits:

• Government Exhibit 1 is a CD containing an audio recording of Special Agent Lese's interview of Defendant.

The parties provided supplemental briefing on the issues before the Court, the last of which was received on March 24, 2015.

I. FINDINGS OF FACT

At 7:00 a.m. on November 6, 2013, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Defendant's residence. (Mot. Hr'g Transcript, March 10, 2015, at 6 ("Tr. 6").) Upon executing the warrant, the officers encountered Defendant's girlfriend, Felicia Kay, who told them that Defendant was at work. (Tr. 6.) Kay told Special Agent Lese that Defendant worked at Hood Packaging in Arden Hills. (Tr. 6.)

Special Agent Lese and Detective Dale Hanson of the Minneapolis Police Department arrived at Hood Packaging between 8:00 and 8:15 a.m. (Tr. 7.) Special Agent Lese arrived at the secure entrance, identified herself as law enforcement, and asked to speak to a manager. (Tr. 8.) Once inside, Special Agent Lese told the manager, Mike Ramirez, that she and Detective Hanson wished to speak with Defendant. (Tr. 8.) Special Agent Lese said that Defendant was not in any sort of trouble, but they had been to his house earlier and learned that he was at work. (Tr. 8.)

Special Agent Lese asked Ramirez whether there was a private room they could use to talk to Defendant, and Ramirez brought the agents to a conference room at the end of a hallway. (Tr. 8-9; 16.) Ramirez then brought Defendant to the conference room and left him with Special Agent Lese and Detective Hanson. (Tr. 9.)

Special Agent Lese identified herself to Defendant as an FBI agent and showed him her credentials. (Tr. 10.) Both Special Agent Lese and Detective Hanson wore plain clothes. (Tr. 15.) She told Defendant that he was not under arrest, that he would not be arrested that morning, that he did not have to answer any questions, and that he was free to leave. (Tr. 10.) Special Agent Lese also told Defendant that she and Detective Hanson wanted to talk with him about a search warrant that was being executed at his residence that morning. (Tr. 10.) Defendant indicated he would talk with them, and the three of them sat at the table in the conference room. (Tr. 10.) Defendant sat in a chair closest to the door, and Special Agent Lese and Detective Hanson sat across the table from him. (Tr. 9.) After they sat down, Special Agent Lese activated an audio recording device. (Tr. 10; Gov't Ex. 1.) Neither Special Agent Lese nor Detective Hanson informed Defendant of his Miranda rights.

Defendant spoke with Special Agent Lese and Detective Hanson for approximately one hour. (Gov't Ex. 1.) All three parties maintained a conversational tone throughout the interview. (Tr. 12.) Neither Special Agent Lese nor Detective Hanson threatened Defendant or attempted to use strong-arm tactics during the conversation. (Tr. 13.) At one point, Defendant said that he wanted to show something to Special Agent Lese on his phone, took out his phone, and gave it to her. (Tr. 12.) At the end of the conversation, they discussed Defendant taking a polygraph to potentially eliminate him as a suspect in the investigation. (Tr. 13.) When the conversation was finished, Defendant escorted Special Agent Lese and Detective Hanson to his supervisor, David Frisk, who would be able to verify Defendant's dates of employment. (Tr. 13.)

Defendant now moves to suppress his statements during the interview, arguing that he was subjected to custodial interrogation without first ...


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