United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Bradley M. Endicott & Andrew R. Winter, Assistant United
States Attorneys, United States Attorney's Office, (for
J. Morrison, Wold Morrison Law, Suite (for Defendant Timothy
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
N. Leung, United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is before the Court, United States Magistrate Judge
Tony N. Leung, on Defendant Timothy John Adams's Pretrial
Motion to Suppress Search and Seizure. (ECF No. 23). This
motion has been referred to the undersigned for a report and
recommendation to the district court, the Honorable Nancy E.
Brasel, District Judge of the United States District Court
for the District of Minnesota, under 28 U.S.C. § 636 and
D. Minn. LR 72.1.
is charged via indictment with conspiracy to distribute a
controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846, possession with intent to
distribute a controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A) and 18 U.S.C. § 2,
and felon in possession of ammunition, in violation of 18
U.S.C. §§ 921(g)(1) and 924(a)(1). (ECF No. 1).
Defendant filed a motion seeking suppression of evidence
obtained following a May 24, 2017 arrest. The Government
opposes the motion. A hearing was held on December 4, 2018.
(ECF No. 25). The Court heard testimony from the following
individuals: Investigator Jerry Wilhelmy of the Minnesota
Department of Corrections, Special Agent Robert Fraik of the
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and Trooper
Nicholas Otterson of the Minnesota State Patrol. The Court
received into evidence: Government Exhibit 1 (transcript of
May 23, 2017 telephone call between James Jones and Frankie
Perez-Rios); Government Exhibit 2 (transcript of May 23, 2017
telephone call between Timothy John Adams and James Jones);
Government Exhibit 3 (photograph of items seized from
vehicle); Government Exhibit 4 (photograph of items seized
from vehicle); Government Exhibit 5 (photograph of
methamphetamine seized from vehicle); Government Exhibit 6
(video of traffic stop of Timothy John Adams; and Defendant
Exhibit 1 (complaint/summons issued to Timothy John Adams
regarding traffic violations). Post-hearing briefing is
complete, (ECF Nos. 30, 31), and the motion is ripe for a
determination by the Court. Based upon all the files,
records, and proceedings herein, along with the testimony and
evidence presented, the undersigned recommends that
Defendant's motion be denied.
FINDINGS OF FACT
Jerry Wilhelmy of the Minnesota Department of Corrections
monitored several telephone calls that occurred at Minnesota
correctional facilities between April 21, 2017 and May 23,
2017. (Tr. 8:5-30:12). Each conversation was between James
Jones, also known as “Thirsty” (Tr. 12:3-12:9)
and either Defendant Timothy John Adams, also known as
“Slim” or “Big Boy” (Tr. 11:3-11:7)
or Efrain Perez-Rios, also known as “Frankie”
(Tr.12:24-13:3). Adams and Jones are members of the Native
Mob gang. (Tr. 11:11-13, 12:6-7, ). Wilhelmy believed that
Perez-Rios was a narcotics supplier. (Tr. 13:4-5).
first monitored two calls that occurred on April 21, 2017.
(Tr. 13:23-14:1). In the first call, beginning at
approximately 5:00 p.m. took place between Adams and Jones.
During that call, Jones asked Adams what Perez-Rios was
charging. (Tr. 14:13-15). Adams responded “ten.”
(Tr. 14:13-15). Wilhelmy believed this to be a reference to
the price of narcotics. (Tr. 14:4-14).
also reviewed two calls that took place on April 26, 2017 and
one call that occurred on May 8, 2017. (Tr. 15:17-23;
16:11-19). In the April 26 calls, Jones and Adams discussed
what Wilhelmy believed to be certain prices that Perez-Rios
was charging a different member of the Native Mob. (Tr.
15:24-16:3; Tr. 13:6-16; 13:14-16). In the May 8 call, Jones
asked Adams if “homie” “squared [Adams]
away.” (Tr. 16:11-19). Adams responded affirmatively
and told Jones that he received “two.” (Tr.
16:18-19). “Homie” is believed to be a reference
to Perez-Rios. (Tr. 16:16-17).
Wilhelmy reviewed two telephone calls that took place on May
23, 2017. (Tr. 17:7-11; Gvt. Ex. 1 & Ex. 2). In the first
telephone call, Jones attempted to arrange for Adams to
purchase narcotics from Perez-Rios. (Tr. 20:16-25).
Perez-Rios indicated that he had previously sold to Adams
before, but that it “takes him like a whole week to
come back.” (Gvt. Ex. 1, p. 8). Jones told Perez-Rios
that was because some buyers purchased narcotics from him at
lower prices. (Tr. 21:23-22:8; Gvt. Ex. 1, p. 8). At some
point during the call, Perez-Rios told Jones that Adams would
not “be here till tomorrow.” (Gvt. Ex. 1, p. 8).
Perez-Rios lived in Minneapolis. (Tr. 23:6-10).
and Adams also spoke on May 23, 2017. (Gvt. Ex. 2). During
that call, they discussed prices that Perez-Rios charged
other Native Mob members (Tr. 23:21-24:7; Gvt. Ex. 2, pp.
2-3). Jones also told Adams that the more money that he would
pay up front, the more drugs Perez-Rios would provide him.
(Gvt. Ex. 2, p. 11). Jones also told Adams he needed to sell
the drugs that he received as soon as possible so that he
could pay Perez-Rios back at a quicker pace. (Tr. 25:7-21;
Gvt. Ex. 2, pp. 12-13).
believed, based on the information that he obtained in these
calls, that a narcotics transaction had been arranged. (Tr.
26:14-24). He alerted Special Agent Robert Fraik of the
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. (Tr. 26:23-24;
31:8-13). Fraik began to conduct surveillance of Adams's
residence, located in Cass Lake, on the evening of May 23.
(Tr. 33:7-21). Fraik observed several vehicles parked at
Adams's house, including a red Ford Expedition. (Tr.
Fraik returned to Adams's residence on May 24, There, he
noticed that the red Ford Expedition was missing. (Tr.
34:22-25). He asked other agents in the area to assist him in
locating it. (Tr. 34:22-35). One agent located it traveling
south on Highway 10, near Royalton. (Tr. 35:17-21). Those
agents followed the vehicle to a medical clinic located in
St. Paul and then to a Car X repair shop. (Tr. 36:7-15). At
some point that afternoon, after 1:00 p.m., Fraik traveled to
the Car X shop and begin surveilling the vehicle himself.
observed Adams and his significant other, Ashley Howard leave
the area for a short time, before Adams returned to the Car X
shop by himself at approximately 3:10 p.m. (Tr. 37:14-38:17).
Adams entered the Car X shop and came out with a plastic bag.
(Tr. 38:21-39:2). Fraik noticed that the bag “had bulk,
” but could not identify what was in it. (Tr. 39:7-10).