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United States v. Ullah

July 14, 2006

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
SAKHWAT ULLAH, JR., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Richard J. Arcara Chief Judge United States District Court

DECISION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

This case was referred to Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), on February 23, 2004. Defendant Ullah, who is proceeding pro se in this criminal matter, filed motions: for severance (Dkt. No. 28); to dismiss the indictment and superseding indictment (Dkt. Nos. 29 and 37); for discovery (Dkt. No. 34); for in limine relief (Dkt. No. 35); for an evidentiary hearing (Dkt. No. 36); and for the return of seized property (Dkt. No. 54).

On March 17, 2005, Magistrate Judge Foschio filed a combined Report and Recommendation and Decision and Order. Magistrate Judge Foschio: denied the defendant's motion for severance; granted in part, denied in part, and dismissed as moot in part, defendant's motion for discovery; denied defendant's motion seeking in limine relief; denied defendant's motion for an evidentiary hearing and denied defendant's motion for the return of seized property.

In addition, Magistrate Judge Foschio recommended that defendant's motions to dismiss the indictment and the superseding indictment be denied and that his motion to suppress evidence be denied in part and granted in part.

The defendant requested numerous extensions of time to file his objections, all of which were granted. On December 1, 2005, the defendant filed his objections to the Report and Recommendation and Decision and Order (Dkt. No. 111).

After reviewing defendant's objections and the entire record, the Court determined that an evidentiary hearing was necessary to address the defendant's motion to suppress statements and evidence that he claimed were obtained in violation of his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.

An evidentiary hearing was held on June 12, 2006, and continued on June 15, 2006. Following the hearing, the Court deemed the matter submitted and determined that oral argument on the defendant's remaining objections was unnecessary as the objections had been extensively briefed and the parties' positions sufficiently articulated.

DISCUSSION

A. Appeal of Decision and Order

With regard to the defendant's appeal of Magistrate Judge Foschio's Decision and Order, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), this Court "may reconsider any pretrial matter under this [section] where it has been shown that the magistrate's order is clearly erroneous or contrary to law." The Court has reviewed defendant's objections and Magistrate Judge Foschio's Decision and Order. Upon such review, the Court finds that Magistrate Judge Foschio's Decision and Order is neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law. Accordingly, the Court affirms the Decision and Order, and denies the defendant's appeal.

B. Objections to the Report and Recommendation

With regard to the defendant's objections to Magistrate Judge Foschio's Report and Recommendation, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), this Court must make a de novo determination of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections have been made. Upon a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation, and after reviewing the submissions of the parties, and upon conducting an evidentiary hearing relating to the defendant's motion to suppress, the Court: (1) adopts the Report and Recommendation relating to the defendant's motions to dismiss for the reasons stated in the Report and Recommendation; and (2) denies the defendant's motion to suppress evidence for the reasons stated herein.

With regard to the suppression motion, the defendant had alleged that his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights where violated because he was detained and questioned by authorities without Miranda warnings, and searched without a warrant or consent. See Dkt. 111, at 3. Because it was unclear from the record when the defendant was questioned and searched, what statements (if any) were obtained, and whether he was "in custody" at the time, the ...


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