Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Kenyatta

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 9, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
CHARLES KENYATTA, et al., Defendants.

          For the Government: Max Nicholas Sidhardha Kamaraju Jane Kim Assistant United States Attorneys United States Attorney's Office.

          For Defendant Charles Kenyatta: Camille Marie Abate Abate & Preuss.

          For Defendant Charles Kenyatta: Anthony Cecutti Law Office of Anthony Cecutti.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          DENISE COTE, District Judge.

         Defendant Charles Kenyatta and fifteen co-defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute narcotics. Kenyatta has moved to suppress all his statements recorded pursuant to four Title III wiretaps and for additional discovery. For the following reasons, the motion is denied.

         BACKGROUND

         Four Title III wiretap orders pertaining to Kenyatta were issued between December 9, 2015 and March 28, 2016 by four different district judges of this court. The first order authorized the interception of communications over two cellphones believed to be used by Efrain Sanchez and Tyrone Schultz. The order did not name Kenyatta as a target subject. Kenyatta was among those whose conversations were intercepted pursuant to the December 9 order. The second, third, and fourth orders authorized interception of communications over a phone used by Kenyatta. Kenyatta was named as a target subject in each of those applications and his communications were intercepted pursuant to each wiretap.

         The affiant for each of the affidavits supporting the Government's applications for the wiretaps was Special Agent Christopher Serotta of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In his first affidavit Special Agent Serotta listed eighteen different individuals he had reason to believe were involved in the distribution of controlled substances and the use of firearms in relation to that activity.[1] Agent Serotta described the investigators' use of confidential sources to buy crack cocaine from the drug-trafficking organizations under investigation, calls made under the supervision of the investigators to drug dealers, evidence obtained through the execution of a search warrant, and an analysis of pen register data. Over the course of eight pages, Agent Serotta explained the reasons why normal investigative procedures would not achieve the objectives underlying the Title III application. Those objectives included the discovery, to the greatest extent possible, of the identities of the target subjects and their co-conspirators, the locations of their activities, and their methods for violating the law. In those eight pages Special Agent Serotta also discussed the limitations in using undercover agents, confidential informants and cooperating witnesses, physical surveillance, geolocation information, telephone records and pen registers, pole cameras, the Grand Jury, search warrants, or arrests.

         By the time of his fourth application, Special Agent Serotta's discussion of the limitations of alternative investigative procedures had grown to twelve pages. It continued to discuss each of the alternative means addressed in his first affidavit, as well as the insights already gained from the Title III surveillance conducted pursuant to the three prior court authorizations.

         On April 13, 2016, Kenyatta and fifteen co-defendants were indicted on federal narcotics conspiracy charges.[2] In his pretrial motion, Kenyatta seeks to suppress all of his recorded statements pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2518, contending that the Government's wiretap applications and supporting affidavits do not adequately allege that the wiretaps were necessary in light of the success of alternative investigative techniques. He also raises various discovery issues.

         Many of Kenyatta's co-defendants have entered pleas of guilty. The trial of the conspiracy charge against Kenyatta and two of his co-defendants is scheduled to begin on April 3, 2017.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Suppression of Title III Intercepted Communications

         Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (“Title III”) governs court-ordered interceptions of oral communications. United States v. Lee, 723 F.3d 134, 139 (2d Cir. 2013). The statute strikes a “balance between the needs of law enforcement officials and the privacy rights of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.