United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Gregory Brooker, Acting United States Attorney, and Surya
Saxena, Assistant United States Attorney, for plaintiff.
C. Brink, for defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE
Coltay Walker has been indicted for being a Felon in
Possession of a Firearm and Armed Career Criminal (Count 1)
and for Interference with Commerce by Robbery (Count 2).
Walker filed a series of pretrial motions, and the Magistrate
Judge issued a Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) that the motions be denied. (R&R,
Oct. 25, 2017, Docket No. 41.) Walker objected to portions of
the R&R. (Objs., Nov. 8, 2017, Docket No. 42.) The United
States contests some of Walker's objections but
stipulated that it would not offer Rule 404(b) evidence
related to prior bad acts at trial. (Resp. to Objs. at 2-3,
Nov. 21, 2017, Docket No. 45.) As such, a portion of the
R&R is now moot. Because the Court does not otherwise
find error in the R&R, it will overrule Walker's
objections and adopt the R&R to the extent that it is
consistent with this Opinion and Order.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the filing of a report and recommendation by a magistrate
judge, “a party may serve and file specific written
objections to the proposed findings and
recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2);
accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). “The objections
should specify the portions of the magistrate judge's
report and recommendation to which objections are made and
provide a basis for those objections.” Mayer v.
Walvatne, No. 07-1958, 2008 WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn.
Sept. 28, 2008). “The district judge must determine de
novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that
has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3);
accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). “The district
judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended
disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter
to the magistrate judge with instructions.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); accord D. Minn. LR
MOTIONS TO SUPRESS
has filed four motions to suppress. (See Mot. to
Suppress Elec. Surveillance Evid. (“No. 22”),
Aug. 21, 2017, Docket No. 22; Mot. to Suppress Search &
Seizure Evid. (“No. 24”), Aug. 21, 2017, Docket
No. 24; Mot. to Suppress Interrogation Evid. (“No.
25”), Aug. 21, 2017, Docket No. 25; Mot. to Suppress
Ident. Evid. (“No. 26”), Aug. 21, 2017, Docket
No. 26.) The Magistrate Judge recommended denying two of them
(Nos. 22 & 25) as moot because the United States
stipulated that it will not offer the contested evidence.
(R&R at 4, 7.) Walker does not object to those
recommendations, and the Court will adopt them.
Walker does object to the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation that the other two motions (Nos. 24 & 26)
be denied. Those two motions relate in relevant part to
Walker's prior arrests. In each, Walker argues that any
illegally-obtained evidence must be suppressed. The search
and seizure motion is for evidence related to a January 5,
2013, arrest. (No. 24 at 1-2). The identification motion is
for evidence related to arrests on June 20 and July 6, 2005,
and April 1, 2007. (No. 26 at 1-3.) The United States noted
that the evidence at issue was to be used at trial only under
Rule 404(b) and at sentencing. (Resp. to Mots. at 7, 10,
Sept. 5, 2017, Docket No. 31.) The Magistrate Judge
recommended denying the motions on the grounds that Walker
showed neither that the evidence at issue was
unconstitutional nor legal authority that the exclusionary
rule bars Rule 404(b) evidence. (R&R at 4-7.)
objects to both of those grounds. (Objs. at 1-2.) First,
Walker argues that the Magistrate Judge improperly shifted
the burden of proof on the issue of constitutionality to the
Defendant, citing extensive authority showing that it is the
Government's burden to prove by a preponderance of the
evidence that contested evidence was obtained
constitutionally. (Id. at 7 & n.1.) Second,
Walker argues that illegally-obtained evidence should not be
introduced under Rule 404(b), at least to the extent that it
would be used to prove the crime charged. (Id. at
9-10.) Walker quotes from United States v. Hill, a
Tenth Circuit case: “the exclusionary rule does apply
where, as here, the alleged unlawfully obtained evidence is
being used to prove an essential element of a charged
offense-at least where there is some nexus between the
initial search and seizure and the subsequent charged
offense.” 60 F.3d 672, 677-81 (10th Cir.
United States filed a response acknowledging that at least
four circuits have concluded that the exclusionary rule does
bar certain illegally-obtained Rule 404(b)
evidence. (Resp. to Objs. at 2-3.) Because the
Eighth Circuit has not decided the matter, the United States
has elected to stipulate that it will not seek to offer
evidence of or about the contested acts at trial under Rule
404(b). (Id. at 3.) As such, the Court
will deny as moot Walker's motions as they relate to his
MOTION TO DISMISS
has also filed a motion to dismiss the charge against him
because he is not an Armed Career Criminal. (Mot. to Dismiss,
Aug. 21, 2017, Docket No. 27.) The Magistrate Judge concluded
that it would be premature to make that determination.
(R&R at 7.) Walker objects, arguing that the alleged
predicate crimes are elements of the offense charged. (Objs.
at 11.) Because Walker has ...