United States District Court, S.D. New York
June 13, 2005.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
MATTHEW GIAMELA and CRAIG BUTTERFIELD, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: DEBORAH BATTS, District Judge
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Before the Court is Defendant Matthew Giamela's ("Giamela")
pre-trial motion, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(3) of the Federal Rules
of Criminal Procedure, seeking suppression of post-arrest
statements made by Giamela to government agents and requesting an
For the reasons that follow, Giamela's motion is DENIED.
Giamela, along with Co-Defendant Craig Butterfield were
indicted on January 4, 2005 for conspiracy to distribute and
possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and Ecstasy in
violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. On January 6, 2005, Giamela was
arrested by the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike
Force in the vicinity of his apartment near 23rd Street in
Manhattan. Shortly after the arrest, the arresting officers
executed a search of Giamela's apartment, pursuant to a search
warrant issued by a United States Magistrate Judge in the
Southern District of New York. (Gov't.'s Letter of May 2, 2005 at Ex. B.) Giamela made a series of statements to the arresting
officers concerning sources of crystal methamphetamine. Giamela
denied that the narcotics found in his residence were his and
stated that he did not know how they got there. (Id. at Ex. C.)
The DEA report, prepared by one of the arresting officers, states
that Giamela was administrated Miranda warnings when they
reached his apartment. (Id.)
Giamela seeks to suppress his post-arrest statements on the
grounds that: (1) he "[does] not recall being advised, orally or
in writing, by such agents or any other members of a law
enforcement agency of [his] Miranda rights either during [his]
arrest or during the search of [his] apartment or at any other
time"; and (2) he "never voluntarily waived such rights" and was
under the influence of narcotics at the time of his arrest."
(Giamela Aff. ¶¶ 3, 5.)
The Government opposes Giamela's motion, stating that "[e]ven
if true, the facts asserted by the defendant justify neither
suppression of the defendant's statement nor a hearing to
determine whether the defendant's statement should be
The Second Circuit has stated that "[a]n assertion that
Miranda warnings were not given, when the government asserts
the contrary, . . . creates a specific factual dispute. That dispute
cannot properly be resolved without an evidentiary hearing."
United States v. Mathurin, 148 F.3d 68, 69 (2d Cir. 1998).
"[A]n evidentiary hearing on a motion to suppress ordinarily is
required if the moving papers are sufficiently definite,
specific, detailed and nonconjectural. . . ." United States v.
Watson, 404 F.3d 163, 167 (2d Cir. 2005).
Giamela does not state that he was not given Miranda
warnings. Instead, he makes a vague statement in his affidavit
that he does "not recall being advised, orally or in writing, by
[agents] or any other member of a law enforcement agency of my
Miranda rights. . . ." This one sentence in Giamela's affidavit
is not sufficiently specific, detailed or nonconjectural and
therefore does not raise a contested issue of fact requiring an
evidentiary hearing. See e.g., United States v. Arthur, No.
01 Cr. 276, 2002 WL 523254, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 5, 2002)
(finding defendant's statement that he has no recollection of
being read his Miranda rights to be an ambiguous statement and
thus insufficient to create the type of factual dispute that
triggers an evidentiary hearing).
Giamela also claims that he involuntarily waived his Miranda
rights because he was under the influence of narcotics at the
time of his arrest. Police misconduct is a necessary predicate
for any finding that a waiver of Miranda rights is involuntary. See United States v. Knorr, No. 04 Cr. 406, 2005 WL 356803,
at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 14, 2005) ("Defendant's allegation that he
was too hung over, sick and tired to fully understand the
proceedings is . . . insufficient, absent police misconduct, to
make out a Miranda violation."); see also United States v.
Feola, 651 F.Supp. 1068, 1119 (S.D.N.Y. 1997) (finding that "a
confession offered under the pangs of heroin withdrawal, in the
absence of coercive police activity, is not involuntary for
Miranda purposes") (citing Colorado v. Connelly,
479 U.S. 157, 167 (1986) ("We hold that coercive police activity is a
necessary predicate to a finding that a confession is not
`voluntary' within the meaning of the Due Process Clause of the
Defendant has not alleged any misconduct by the arresting
officers and states only that he "never voluntarily waived
[Miranda] rights. At the time of my arrest, I was under the
influence of narcotics." (Giamela Aff. ¶ 5.) Because police
misconduct has not been alleged, the Court also finds that an
evidentiary hearing is not warranted based upon Giamela's
conclusory assertion that he did not voluntarily waive his
Accordingly, the Court DENIES Giamela's motion to suppress his
post-arrest statements and his request for an evidentiary
hearing. III. CONCLUSION
For the foregoing reasons, Giamela's motion to suppress his
post-arrest statements is DENIED.
The next status conference in this matter is set for July 25,
2005 at 10:30 AM. The Court hereby excludes from speedy trial
calculations the period from the date of this Order until July
25, 2005. This exclusion is designed to guarantee effectiveness
of counsel and prevent any possible miscarriage of justice. The
Court finds that the value of this exclusion outweighs the best
interests of the Defendants and the public in a speedy trial.
This order of exclusion is made pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 3161(h)
(8) (A) and (B).
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