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U.S. v. ROBINSON

July 13, 2001

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
V.
DONALD DRAPPER ROBINSON, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Spatt, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

I. BACKGROUND

Presently before the Court is a motion by the defendant to suppress statements made by him to agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency ("DEA") on the grounds that: (1) although the defendant was read his Miranda rights, he did not understand those rights; and (2) the defendant made the incriminating statements based on promises of leniency made to him by the law enforcement officials who interviewed him. In the alternative, the defendant requests that the Court grant a hearing to determine: (1) whether he was adequately advised of his constitutional rights; and (2) whether he intelligently waived those rights.

The facts alleged by the defendant are sparse. He states that on January 26, 2000, DEA agents arrested him and questioned him. He further alleges that he "did not understand my right to remain silent or to consult an attorney prior to the commencement of questioning, nor was I aware of these rights at the time I was questioned. Further, I was promised a better result in my case if I cooperated or told on Marques Bradley."

Notably, the defendant does not point to the specific statements he is asking this Court to suppress. He simply attaches to his motion papers a copy of a DEA report that describes the defendant's post-arrest statements. The Court will assume that the defendant seeks to suppress every post-arrest statement mentioned in the DEA report. Those statements are listed and paraphrased below:

1) For the previous four or five years, he had been purchasing approximately 3 ounces of cocaine each week from Markese Bradley.
2) Bradley delivered the cocaine to the defendant's house, and that his son was present for several of the deliveries.
3) The defendant informed the agents and officers that he had cocaine in his bedroom and two small bags of cocaine in a red mug in his dresser.
4) The brown bag the agents found in the defendant's closet held two small plastic wrappings containing baking soda, which the defendant had removed from his son's room approximately one year earlier upon learning that his son was selling sham cocaine to people in the neighborhood.
5) For approximately one year, he provided his son with cocaine to sell.
6) He cooked the cocaine in the microwave located in his kitchen. The jar, strainer, metal rod and baking soda the agents found in the kitchen were used to cook the cocaine. The paraphernalia they recovered from his bedroom, including the grinder, razor, plastic container, plastic baggies, scales, and calculators belonged to him. The cash in his dresser drawer included proceeds from drug sales.
7) He supplies a friend with 1 1/2; ounces of cocaine which that friend then sells in Amityville.
8) During the three or four weeks preceding his arrest, he had been purchasing his cocaine from two men in the Bronx, because Markese Bradley appeared to have become suspicious of him.

The government opposes the defendant's motion, argues that the statements should not be suppressed, and asserts that a hearing is unnecessary. Unlike the defendant, the government provides some factual allegations in support of its legal arguments. The government states that in or about July 1999, federal and state law enforcement agencies began investigating narcotics distribution by Markese Bradley, one of the defendant's co-defendants. On January 25, 2000, United States Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle issued an arrest warrant for the defendant's son, Drapper Robinson, and a search ...


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