United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Y. Aanstad, United States Attorney's Office, for
C. Cornwell, Law Office of Kevin C. Cornwell, for Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Jaysen Lane
Heyer's Objections [Doc. No. 40] to United States
Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois's Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”), dated July 6, 2017
[Doc. No. 39]. The magistrate judge recommended that
Defendant's motions to suppress evidence [Doc. No. 22]
(“Def.'s Mot. to Suppress”) and for a
Franks hearing [Doc. No. 24] (“Def.'s
Franks Mot.”) be denied.
to statute, this Court reviews de novo any portion
of the magistrate judge's opinion to which specific
objections are made, and “may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendations” contained in that opinion. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b);
D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). For the reasons stated herein, the
Court overrules Defendant's objections and adopts the
R&R in its entirety.
facts pertinent to this matter have been carefully detailed
in the R&R, and will not be repeated in full here.
(See R&R at 1-3.) Stated briefly, in December
2016, an informant by the name of Thomas Michael Jones told
law enforcement officers that members of a street gang known
as the “Native Mob” were trying to obtain
firearms. (See R&R at 1-2.) Of particular
relevance here, Jones also stated that Heyer had recently
obtained a stolen pistol and a stolen assault rifle. (See
Id. at 2.) Because Heyer was prohibited from possessing
firearms due to his criminal history, law enforcement
officers began looking for him. That search brought them to
Squaw Lake, Minnesota, and a house known as the “Bear
Den, ” where Heyer was said to reside. (See
December 28, 2016, officers located Heyer at a house close to
the Bear Den. After some equivocation, Heyer admitted that he
lived at the Bear Den and agreed to return there to meet with
his Department of Corrections (“DOC”) agent and
other law enforcement officers. (See id.) As Heyer
drove toward the Bear Den with officers following, however,
he accelerated in an apparent attempt to escape. (See
id.) Although law enforcement officers attempted to
pursue Heyer, they ultimately discontinued pursuit due to
concern for public safety, and he escaped. (See id.)
Instead, the officers returned to the Bear Den to await
Heyer's return, and to secure a search warrant to search
the residence. (See id.)
upon the affidavit of Investigator Mark Weller, relaying the
information set forth above, a Minnesota state district court
judge issued a warrant to search the Bear Den for firearms,
ammunition, and evidence of residency by Heyer. (See
Id. at 3.) The ensuing search of the residence uncovered
firearms, ammunition, methamphetamine, and methamphetamine
smoking paraphernalia. (See id.) Heyer was
subsequently indicted on one count of possession with intent
to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B), and two counts of being a
felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). (See id.)
brought the present motions on May 9, 2017. In his
Franks motion, Heyer contends that he is entitled to
a hearing to test whether material information-namely, that
Jones had a lengthy criminal history arguably casting doubt
on his propensity for truthfulness-was improperly omitted
from Investigator Weller's warrant affidavit.
(See R&R at 4-5.) Relatedly, Heyer contends in
his motion to suppress that there was insufficient probable
cause to justify issuance of the Bear Den search warrant.
(See R&R at 11-13.) Both motions were referred
by this Court to the magistrate judge for his consideration.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636; D. Minn. LR 72.1. Judge
Brisbois duly submitted his R&R on July 6, 2017,
recommending that both motions be denied. (See
generally R&R.) Heyer subsequently filed timely
objections, triggering this de novo review.
Defendant's Motion for a Franks Hearing
requests a Franks hearing based upon the omission of
specific information about Jones's criminal history from
the warrant affidavit. In Franks v. Delaware, 438
U.S. 154, 155-56 (1978), the Supreme Court held that
“where the defendant makes a substantial preliminary
showing that a false statement knowingly and intentionally,
or with reckless disregard for the truth, was included by the
affiant in the warrant affidavit, and if the allegedly false
statement is necessary to the finding of probable cause, the
Fourth Amendment requires that a hearing be held at the
defendant's request.” As the magistrate judge
properly recognized, this “substantial preliminary
showing” requirement is not met lightly, and
“requires a defendant to offer specific allegations
along with supporting affidavits or similarly reliable
statements.” United States v. Gonzalez, 781
F.3d 422, 430 (8th Cir. 2015). Although reckless disregard
for the truth may be inferred from the fact that information
was omitted, the inference will lie only where the defendant
shows that the ...