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United States v. Peeples

United States District Court, W.D. New York

February 25, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JOSEPH W. PEEPLES, III, Defendant.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          HON. FRANK P. GERACI, JR. CHIEF JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         On January 6, 2017, the United States of America filed a Criminal Complaint alleging that Defendant Joseph W. Peeples, III, robbed a bank in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). ECF No. 1. On February 23, 2017, the Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Peeples with one count of bank robbery, one count of entering a bank with intent to commit larceny, and one count of bank larceny in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a), (b). ECF No. 7. The next day, the case was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman for pre-trial matters and dispositive motions. ECF No. 8.

         On March 30, 2017, Peeples moved to suppress evidence obtained from his hotel room after his warrantless arrest and statements after his arrest, and he moved to dismiss the criminal complaint and the arrest warrant based on a number of alleged violations of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. ECF Nos. 14, 48. Judge Feldman then held a suppression hearing and issued a report and recommendation (“R&R”), ECF No. 48, to which Peeples objected, ECF No. 51. Then, on January 22, 2018, the Court issued a Decision and Order adopting Judge Feldman's R&R and denying Peeples's motions. ECF No. 59.

         On February 5, 2018, Peeples filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, which is currently before the Court. ECF No. 66. For the reasons that follow, Peeples's motion is DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         On January 5, 2017, at approximately 8:25 a.m., a male suspect robbed the Chase Bank located at 1 South Clinton Avenue in Rochester, New York. ECF No. 1, ¶ 3. After a series of events, including travel via taxi and bus, Defendant Joseph W. Peeples, III, was identified as a suspect in the robbery and arrested, without a warrant, in Binghamton, New York, at approximately 9:00 p.m. ECF No. 59 at 2-4; ECF No. 48 at 18.

         Peeples was transferred from Binghamton to Rochester the following day, January 6, 2017. ECF No. 48 at 18-19. The FBI retrieved Peeples from the Binghamton Police Department at approximately 10:00 a.m. and arrived in Rochester at approximately 12:30 p.m. ECF No. 66 at 8. Peeples was then transported to the federal building in Rochester at 1:56 p.m.

         The arrest warrant for Peeples was returned at 3:29 p.m. the same day. ECF No. 4. Peeples's initial appearance before Judge Feldman began shortly thereafter, at 3:50 p.m. ECF No. 48 at 19, 22.

         The Complaint was filed on January 6, 2017, but contains no time stamp to indicate when it was signed. ECF No. 1. The first page of the Complaint is signed by both Judge Feldman and FBI Special Agent Seth Fleitman, but the attached affidavit is signed only by agent Fleitman. Id.

         DISCUSSION

         Peeples makes a variety of arguments[1] in support of his motion to dismiss the indictment. The Court will address each below.

         I. Probable Cause Hearing

         Peeples argues that he was improperly denied a probable cause hearing under Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103, 105 (1975), as a result of his allegedly illegal transfer. ECF No. 66 at 4. Under Gerstein and County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44, 47 (1991), courts are generally required to provide a judicial determination of probable cause within 48 hours of a warrantless arrest. Bryant v. City of New York, 404 F.3d 128, 137 (2d Cir. 2005). Even if the 48hour requirement is met, however, delays for the purpose of gathering additional evidence, motivated by ill will against the defendant, or for delay's sake are unreasonable. Id. (quoting McLaughlin, 500 U.S. at 56-57). Courts can consider unavoidable delays ...


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