United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BRISBOIS, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge pursuant to a general assignment, made in accordance
with the provisions of Title 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local
Rule 72.1, upon Defendant Craig Steven Jackson, Jr.'s
(hereinafter “Defendant”) Motion to Suppress
Statements, Admissions, and Answers. [Docket No. 66]. The
Court held a Motions Hearing on February 11, 2019, regarding
the parties' pretrial motions after which Defendant's
Motion to Suppress Statements, [Docket No. 66], was taken
reasons discussed herein, the Court recommends that
Defendant's Motion to Suppress Statements, Admissions,
and Answers, [Docket No. 66], be DENIED.
Background and Statement of Facts
is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin
and fentanyl, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B), and 846, as well as, one count of
possession with intent to distribute heroin, in violation of
21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B).
(Indictment [Docket No. 1]).
record presently before the Court indicates that on April 12,
2018, Minnesota State Trooper, Nick Otterson, initiated a
traffic stop of a black Ford Explorer Limited. (February 11,
2019, Motions Hearing, Digital Recording at 3:42-3:44).
During that traffic stop, Trooper Otterson completed a K-9
sniff of the stopped vehicle which alerted to a controlled
substance possibly being present inside the vehicle.
(Id.). A subsequent search of that vehicle by law
enforcement yielded a “large amount of suspected
mixture of cocaine and heroin.” (Id.).
to the traffic stop and search by Trooper Otterson, Special
Agent Daniel Skoog (hereinafter “SA Skoog”)
contacted Red Lake Tribal Criminal Investigator Kristopher
Larson (hereinafter “CI Larson”) to inform him of
the situation and to request his assistance in a
“controlled delivery” deriving out of the traffic
stop and search by Trooper Otterson. (Id.).
Specifically, SA Skoog requested that CI Larson surveille the
parking lot of the Walmart in Detroit Lakes where the
controlled delivery was to take place. (Id.). SA
Skoog informed CI Larson that the stopped vehicle was a black
Ford Explorer Limited, and the suspected controlled
substances was intended to be delivered to a female
individual named Dawn. (Id. at 3:40-3:43).
Larson then began surveilling the parking lot of the Walmart
in Detroit Lakes. CI Larson subsequently observed the
previously stopped black Ford Explorer Limited entered the
parking lot. (Id. at 3:43-3:45). After parking, the
black Ford Explorer Limited was approached by a white Pontiac
Grad Prix. (Id.). The two individuals in the white
Pontiac Grand Prix where later identified as Defendant and
co-Defendant Dawn Lee Kier. (Id. 3:44-3:47).
Defendant was the driver of the Grand Prix, and co-Defendant
Kier was the passenger. (Id.).
Larson observed co-Defendant Keir exited the passenger seat
of the Grad Prix and enter the rear passenger seat of the
black Ford Explorer Limited. (Id.). Defendant Kier
subsequently exited the Ford Explorer Limited and returned to
the passenger's seat of the Grand Prix. (Id.).
The Grad Prix then drove across the parking lot to park in
front of the Walmart, and the vehicle's two occupants
exited the vehicle. (Id. at 3:43-3:47).
Larson and other law enforcement officers made contact with
the two individuals as they exited the Grand Prix.
(Id.). Defendant was subsequently arrested.
(Id.). Upon being arrested, Defendant was searched,
handcuffed, and placed into a Becker County Sheriff's
squad car to be transported to the Becker County
Sheriff's office and jail. (Id.). A quantity of
suspected heroin was found on Defendant's person.
Larson testified that while he assisted in the search of
Defendant's person and placing Defendant in the back of
the squad car, Defendant attempted to speak to CI Larson.
(Id. at 4:01- 4:07). Although CI Larson could not
remember the specifics of what Defendant said while being
placed in the back seat of the squad car, CI Larson testified
that he believed Defendant said something to the effect that
“he wanted to help himself out.” (Id.).
CI Larson further testified the conversation was “very
short” due to the fact the scene was still active with
“the parking lot blocked off, ” and if he
provided any response to Defendant's assertion, it was
something to the effect of “we would sit down and talk
at a later time.” (Id. at 4:01-4:11). CI
Larson explained that the duration of the conversation was
“just long enough” to handcuff Defendant, search
his person, and place him in the back seat of a squad car.
approximately 10:16 p.m., SA Skoog and CI Larson interviewed
Defendant in the interview room of the Becker County
Sheriff's office and jail. (See, Id. at
3:45-3:52). CI Larson testified that, at the time of the
interview, he was dressed in “plain street
clothes” with his firearm concealed. (Id.). CI
Larson also testified that while he did not know if SA Skoog
had a firearm during the interview, neither CI Larson nor SA
Skoog ever drew their firearms or displayed their firearms to
Defendant. (Id. at 3:51-3:54).
Larson testified that Defendant, at the time of the
interview, seemed to understand the questions being presented
to him, responded appropriately to the questions presented to
him, did not appear to be under the influence of any drugs or
alcohol, appeared to understand what was going on in the
situation, and never indicated that he was confused or failed
to understand what was happening. (Id. at
3:54-3:59). Defendant remained handcuffed during the
interview, and the entirety of the interview was audio
recorded by SA Skoog. (Id. at 3:47-3:52).
Skoog began interviewing Defendant by verifying
Defendant's name, date of birth, phone number, and
address. (Gov't's Ex. 1 at 00:00-2:00). SA Skoog then
advised Defendant of his rights as follows:
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and
will be used against you in court. You have the right to talk
to a lawyer and have him present-have the lawyer present with
you now or at any time during question- during questioning.
If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer one will be appointed
for you without cost. Do you understand each of these rights
as I've explained them to you?
(Gov't's Ex. 1 at 1-4). Defendant responded
Skoog then asked Defendant, “Having these rights in
mind, do you wish to talk to me right now? Are you willing to
talk with us?” (Id.). Defendant again
responded, “Yeah.” (Id.).
the interview, SA Skoog, CI Larson, and Defendant discussed
various topics, including why Defendant had provided
co-Defendant Kier with a ride, where Defendant picked up
co-Defendant Kier, where Defendant got the suspected
controlled substances that was found on his person, and where
he had previously obtained heroin. (Id. at 4-16).
Throughout the interview, Defendant asserted that he was
unaware of co-Defendant Kier's intentions, but he did
receive a discounted price when purchasing heroine because he
agreed to give co-Defendant Kier a ride as requested.
several occasions during the interview, Defendant implied
that he was willing to cooperate with law enforcement and
would be willing to “make a buy or whatever.”
(See, e.g., Id. at 8-9). CI Larson
concluded the interview by asking Defendant if he would be
willing to speak with law enforcement again if anything else
came up to which Defendant responded affirmatively.
(Id. at 14-16).
the recorded interview, SA Skoog and CI Larson can be heard
maintaining a conversational tone without raising their
voices to yell or threatening Defendant. Although SA Skoog
and CI Larson at various times during the interview told
Defendant that they did not believe Defendant was telling the
complete truth, Defendant maintained a conversational tone,
and he ...