United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Hollenhorst, United States Attorney for Plaintiff.
Michael McDonald, and Katherine Roe, for Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the Objection
(“Objection”) [Doc. No. 212] of Defendant Clark
Henry Hawkinson to Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer's
Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) dated
October 22, 2018 [Doc. No. 209]. In the R&R, Magistrate
Judge Bowbeer recommended that Defendant's Motion to
Suppress Evidence Obtained as a Result of Search and Seizure
(“Defendant's Motion to Suppress”) [Doc. No.
151] be denied. For the reasons set forth below, and after a
de novo review, this Court overrules Defendant's
Objection, adopts the R&R in its entirety, and denies
Defendant's Motion to Suppress.
2016, several law enforcement agencies, including the West
Metro Drug Task Force, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal
Apprehension, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the
Drug Enforcement Administration, started jointly
investigating a large-scale, prison-based, drug-trafficking
operation (“DTO”). (Gov't's Resp. to
Def.'s Mem. of Law [Doc. No. 201] at Ex. 2.) During the
investigation, law enforcement officials consulted jail
visitor logs, recorded jail telephone calls, seized
contraband, and met with a “vetted confidential
reliable informant” (“CRI”). (Id.)
The investigation revealed that the DTO smuggled up to 100
pounds of methamphetamine and heroin a month from Mexico to
California, and then from California to Minnesota.
told investigators that one of the primary drug distributors
for the DTO was a person nicknamed “El Pescador,
” whom investigators determined was Defendant.
(Id.) The CRI said that Defendant was a “lb
level” distributor. (Id.) In addition, the CRI
explained that members of the DTO delivered methamphetamine
to Defendant and collected money in return. (Id. at
3-4.) The CRI told law enforcement officers that as much as
seven pounds of methamphetamine was delivered to Defendant in
December 2017. (Id. at 4.)
enforcement officers' independent surveillance of
Defendant corroborated the CRI's information that
Defendant was a drug distributor for the DTO. The CRI's
identification of Defendant as a suspected drug trafficker
was corroborated through an undercover drug transaction
between Hennepin County Deputy Sheriff Siltala and a DTO
intermediary who traveled to and from Defendant's house
at least five times. (Id.) The CRI's
identification of Defendant as a member of the DTO was also
corroborated by the search of a suspect's phone, which
included a message from a member of the DTO to the suspect
giving directions to Defendant's residence.
January 25, 2018, Deputy Sheriff Siltala applied for a
warrant to search Defendant's residence and supplied a
supporting affidavit. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Suppress
[Doc. No. 194] at 1.) The application was granted the same
day by Anoka County District Court Judge Jonathan Jasper.
(Id.) The search warrant was executed on January 31,
2018, at 12:23 p.m. (Exhibit 2 [Doc. No. 211].) Both large
quantities of methamphetamine and miscellaneous drug
trafficking paraphernalia were found at Defendant's
resident. (Id.) Subsequently, on February 14, 2018,
Defendant was charged with conspiracy to distribute
methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute
methamphetamine. (Indictment [Doc. No. 1].)
months later, Defendant moved to suppress evidence obtained
as a result of the search and seizure. Although
Defendant's original motion sought broad relief, at the
hearing on the motion he narrowed his focus to the search
warrant executed at his residence on January 31, 2018.
(R&R at 2.) In his post-hearing memorandum Defendant
argued that there was no probable cause for the search
warrant and that the good-faith exception to the exclusionary
rule did not apply. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Suppress at
reviewing Defendant's claims, Magistrate Judge Bowbeer
found that Deputy Sheriff Siltala's affidavit established
probable cause to believe that narcotics and contraband or
incriminating evidence would be found at Defendant's
residence. (R&R at 5.) Moreover, Judge Bowbeer concluded
that, even if probable cause were lacking, the good-faith
exception to the exclusionary rule applies in this case.
(Id. at 6.)
November 2, 2018, Defendant filed his Objection to the
R&R. Defendant continues to argue that there was no
probable cause to search his residence and that the
good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule does not apply.
(Def.'s Obj. at 1.) Because this Court agrees with the
magistrate judge's reasoning in the R&R, this Court
overrules Defendant's Objection and adopts the R&R in