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United States District Court, S.D. New York

June 13, 2005.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: DEBORAH BATTS, District Judge


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 evidentiary hearing.

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 suppressed."

  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 Fourteenth Amendment.")).

  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 Miranda rights.

  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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