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United States v. Mayweather

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 12, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff,
Jarmell Raymond Mayweather, Defendant.


          Wilhelmina M. Wright United States District Judge

         A jury convicted Defendant Jarmell Raymond Mayweather on December 14, 2018, of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Mayweather now moves for a Franks hearing and to vacate his conviction. (Dkts. 154, 177.) Also pending before the Court are three pro se motions filed by Mayweather, (Dkts. 160, 162, 164), and Plaintiff United States of America's motion to strike Mayweather's pro se motions, (Dkt. 170). For the reasons addressed below, each pending motion is denied.


         In the course of investigating Mayweather's offense of conviction, law enforcement officers obtained search warrants in March 2016 for Mayweather's residence and vehicle. During the search of these locations, law enforcement officers seized cocaine and other drug paraphernalia. Mayweather filed a pretrial motion to suppress the evidence obtained from these searches, arguing that probable cause did not support the search warrants for either his residence or his vehicle. The Court adopted the magistrate judge's recommendation to deny Mayweather's motion.

         Mayweather now seeks a post-trial evidentiary hearing to challenge the March 2016 search warrants, arguing that the search warrant affidavit contains nine material misrepresentations or omissions. Mayweather also moves to vacate his conviction on the ground that the United States failed to disclose exculpatory evidence, in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). The United States opposes both motions and moves to strike several other post-trial motions that Mayweather filed pro se.


         I. Mayweather's Motion for a Franks Hearing

         Mayweather seeks an evidentiary hearing to challenge the March 2016 warrants used to search his home and his vehicle. An affidavit supporting a search warrant is presumed truthful. Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 164-65 (1978). But a defendant may challenge a search warrant on the grounds that the probable cause determination in the warrant was based on an affidavit that contains a deliberate falsehood or reckless disregard for the truth. Id. at 171. At the defendant's request, a district court must hold a Franks hearing if the defendant makes a “substantial preliminary showing” that (1) the search warrant affiant “deliberately or recklessly included a false statement in, or omitted a true statement from, ” the search warrant affidavit; and (2) the affidavit would not establish probable cause if the allegedly false information were ignored or the omitted information were included. United States v. Snyder, 511 F.3d 813, 816 (8th Cir. 2008). To make a “substantial preliminary showing, ” a defendant must offer “specific allegations along with supporting affidavits or similarly reliable statements.” United States v. Gonzalez, 781 F.3d 422, 430 (8th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         Certain motions, including motions to suppress evidence based on an alleged Franks violation, must be made before trial “if the basis for the motion is then reasonably available and the motion can be determined without a trial on the merits.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 12(b)(3)(C); accord United States v. Frazier, 280 F.3d 835, 845 (8th Cir. 2002) (recognizing that a Franks issue “must be raised before trial”). If a party fails to file a timely pretrial motion, the party waives that issue. United States v. Trancheff, 633 F.3d 696, 697 (8th Cir. 2011). A district court may, in its discretion, consider an untimely motion only when the party shows good cause for the delay, “which requires a showing of cause and prejudice.” United States v. Paul, 885 F.3d 1099, 1104 (8th Cir. 2018) (internal quotation marks omitted); accord Fed. R. Crim. P. 12(c)(3).

         Mayweather identifies nine alleged misrepresentations or omissions in the March 10, 2016 search warrant affidavit. The United States contends that Mayweather waived each of these arguments by not raising them before trial and that Mayweather has not shown good cause to excuse the delay. Even if the Court excuses Mayweather's waiver, the United States argues, he has not made the “substantial preliminary showing” necessary to obtain a Franks hearing.

         Most of the alleged factual misrepresentations or omissions identified in Mayweather's motion were known to Mayweather long before trial began. At least 11 months before trial, Mayweather learned details pertaining to phone contacts between himself and a CRI, including cell phone extraction reports and the fact that a March 2016 call was not recorded. In August 2018, more than 4 months before trial, Mayweather learned that law enforcement officers had obtained an order authorizing them to install a tracking device on Mayweather's vehicle. Mayweather also learned in August 2018 that law enforcement officers had been investigating a known drug trafficker as early as October 2015. To the extent that Mayweather's motion relies on these facts to argue that a Franks violation occurred, the arguments are untimely and, therefore, waived.[1]

         The Court may excuse Mayweather's waiver “only upon a showing of ‘good cause,' which requires a showing of cause and prejudice.” United States v. Fry, 792 F.3d 884, 888 (8th Cir. 2015). Mayweather's motion makes no attempt to establish good cause for his delay in bringing the motion. In his reply brief, Mayweather vaguely asserts that his motion “establishes ‘good cause' for any delay in filing, ” but makes no specific argument to support this assertion.[2] Because Mayweather has not established good cause for his delay, the Court will not excuse his waiver of the Franks arguments that he did not raise before trial.

         Two of Mayweather's Franks arguments, however, have not been waived. First, Mayweather argues that the payment form for the March 2016 controlled buy contains notations that are inconsistent with the search warrant affidavit.[3] Second, Mayweather relies on trial testimony to argue that the search warrant affidavit falsely or misleadingly describes the CRI's reliability.

         The controlled buy payment form includes the following notations: “1 oz coke buy 3.8.2016” and “No Go $ Returned but got dope #60.” According to Mayweather, the inconsistencies between these notations cast doubt on whether the CRI did, in fact, purchase cocaine from Mayweather as reflected in the search warrant affidavit. But the first notation reflects that the CRI purchased cocaine, which is consistent with the cover page of the payment form, the description of the March 2016 controlled buy in the search warrant affidavit, and the testimony at trial. The second notation, by contrast, reflects that money was returned to the CRI. But this notation is consistent with the trial testimony of Detective Cory McLouden, the law enforcement officer who prepared the payment form. Detective McLouden testified that the CRI obtained cocaine from Mayweather during an earlier February 2016 controlled buy, but Mayweather did not accept the buy money during ...

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