United States District Court, W.D. New York
August 17, 2005.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
KALVIN PETERSON, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID LARIMER, Chief Judge, District
DECISION AND ORDER
The Court referred all pretrial motions in this case to United
States Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b). Defendant, Kalvin Peterson ("Peterson"), has moved to
suppress physical evidence seized in connection with the
execution of a search warrant at 294 Chili Avenue, Rochester, New
York on September 4, 2003 and also moves to suppress a written
statement Peterson gave to the police after his arrest.
Magistrate Judge Payson held a suppression hearing on two
dates, February 17 and April 11, 2005, and thereafter issued a
detailed 18-page Report and Recommendation. In that Report and
Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Payson made several rulings and
recommended that the motion to suppress physical evidence be
denied and that the motion to suppress statements also be denied.
Peterson has timely filed objections to Magistrate Judge Payson's
Report and Recommendation. The principal objection raised on appeal and during proceedings
before Magistrate Judge Payson is that there was no basis to
justify issuance of a no-knock search warrant. The investigating
officers, members of the Rochester Police Department, applied
under state law for a so-called no-knock warrant which allowed
them to enter the premise without first knocking or announcing
their presence. The United States Supreme Court in United States
v. Ramirez, 523 U.S. 65 (1998) has recognized that such no-knock
warrants comport with the Fourth Amendment if there is a
reasonable suspicion that such knocking and announcing would
endanger the officers or lead to destruction of evidence.
Peterson claims here that there was insufficient particularized
evidence before the issuing state judge to warrant such
authorization. Magistrate Judge Payson concluded that although it
was questionable as to whether there was a particularized showing
as to dangerousness, there was evidence to justify the no-knock
entry because of the nature of narcotics trafficking and the ease
with which drugs can be secreted or destroyed. Magistrate Judge
Payson reviewed the application and determined that there was
sufficient evidence before the issuing state judge to make that
determination. I agree.
Peterson claims that the application was essentially
"boilerplate" language and that there was no particularized
showing as to this particular residence. I agree with Magistrate
Judge Payson that the affidavit in support of the warrant
provided ample information, including multiple recent controlled
purchases at the residence, combined with the officers' opinion
concerning the ease and speed with which such substances could be
disposed and, therefore, provided sufficient basis to the state
judge for issuance of the warrant. Magistrate Judge Payson also determined that the motion to
suppress should be denied based on good faith reliance under the
principles enunciated in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897
(1984). There is no evidence here that the issuing judge was
misled or given false information and, therefore, Leon applies
and precludes suppression of evidence.
I also agree with Magistrate Judge Payson that there is no
basis to suppress the statements of Peterson. There was evidence
at the suppression hearing concerning the officers' conduct
during Peterson's interrogation and the circumstances surrounding
the statement made by Peterson at the Public Safety Building. The
testimony from the officers was that they provided Peterson with
his full Miranda rights, he acknowledge understanding those
rights, waived them and signed a statement concerning his
involvement in the offenses. There was no testimony advanced by
the defense to challenge or rebut the officers' version as to
what occurred when Peterson gave his statement. On these facts,
there is no basis whatsoever to suppress the statements because
of any violation of the dictates of Miranda.
Peterson also claims that there was no basis to seize and
arrest him. I disagree, as did Magistrate Judge Payson. The
officers were essentially in pursuit of Peterson as they entered
the residence. They observed a person moving as they attempted to
execute the warrant and when no one was found after searching the
entire premises, they went through a hole in the wall in
Peterson's apartment to a neighbor's where they found Peterson
hiding. I believe that the officers were entitled to pursue
Peterson and once they found him, it was proper to detain him. It
would have been a dereliction of their duty had they simply
ignored this fleeing person, especially based on the observation
of narcotics in plain view as they entered the apartment. The
officers also had information, of course, that there had been recent drug sales out
of that apartment. The pursuit and detention of Peterson was
reasonable under the circumstances as they developed and once
there was a complete search of the apartment, there was more than
ample cause to arrest Peterson.
I accept and adopt the Report and Recommendation of United
States Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson. Defendant's motions to
suppress physical evidence and suppress a statement (Dkt. #12)
are in all respects denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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