United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS
Bond Arterton, U.S.D.J.
Tyeshon King is charged with one count of unlawful possession
of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person in
violation of 18 USC § 922(g) (1). Mr. King moves to
suppress all evidence seized at 180 Houston Avenue,
Bridgeport, CT, pursuant to the warrant of March 23, 2017,
and any data retrieved from cell phones searched pursuant to
the warrant of May 21, 2018. For the following reasons, Mr.
King's motions are denied.
March 23, 2017, the government applied for and was granted a
warrant to search 180 Houston Avenue, Bridgeport, CT,
("180 Houston") as part of an ongoing investigation
into a drug trafficking organization operating in the area.
(Ex. A (Warrant) to Def.'s Mot. to Suppress [Doc. # 54]
at 1, 3-4.) Defendant Tyeshon King was not the subject of
that warrant; instead, the government sought evidence related
to the activities of Defendant King's twin brother,
Tyevhon King. (Id. at 4.)
Agent Meghan B. King of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
submitted an affidavit in support of that warrant
application. (Ex. B (Aff. Supp. Warrant App.) to Def.'s
Mot. to Suppress [Doc. # 54].) Special Agent King detailed
her qualifications and experience, which includes
participating in numerous criminal investigations into
suspected narcotics trafficking, coordinating controlled
purchases of narcotics using confidential informants, and
leading investigations into complex narcotics trafficking
organizations. (Id. ¶ 2.) She explained that
she is familiar with all aspects of this investigation and
that she did not include in the affidavit every fact known to
her concerning the investigation. (Id. ¶¶
Agent King provided background information about the ongoing
investigation into the drug trafficking organization of which
Tyevhon King was reportedly a member, (Id.
¶¶ 3, 9), including information about several
earlier seizures of cash, heroin, and heroin packaging
materials linked to that organization. (Id.
that investigation, the FBI developed a relationship with a
confidential informant who agreed to work with the FBI in
exchange for consideration at sentencing on pending narcotics
charges and who was "capable of purchasing substantial
quantities of heroin at the FBI's direction."
(Id. ¶ 15.) Between September 2016 and January
2017, that confidential informant conducted
"approximately a half-dozen controlled purchases,"
all of which were "negotiated with and at" Tyevhon
King's direction and during "most" of which
Tyevhon "personally delivered the heroin."
(Id. ¶¶ 16-20.) "[A]t least one"
of those purchases occurred in part at 180 Houston, where the
confidential informant met and briefly conversed with Tyevhon
King, who directed the confidential informant to an alternate
location to acquire the heroin and whom the confidential
informant paid in prerecorded funds upon his return to 180
Houston. (Id. ¶ 24). Special Agent King
explained that that multi-stage sale method "provides an
exemplar of how [Tyevhon King] structures heroin deals,"
and that, in her training and expertise, such a method is
used to provide an "increased measure of operational
security." (Id. ¶ 25.)
Agent King also attested that Tyevhon King was "known to
reside" at 180 Houston, though she did not provide
detail as to the specific source of her knowledge.
(Id. ¶ 22.) Finally, Special Agent King noted
that Tyevhon King was indicted on March 16, 2017, by a
federal Grand Jury on charges of conspiracy to possess with
intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, and that
an arrest warrant had been issued. (Id. ¶ 5.)
March 24, 2017, that search warrant was executed at 180
Houston by members of the FBI Safe Streets Violent Crime Task
Force, assisted by the Bridgeport Police Tactical Narcotics
Team and the Connecticut State Police Gang Unit and Narcotics
Unit. (Ex. C (Investigation Report) to Def.'s Mot. to
Suppress [Doc. # 54] at 1.) During that search, Tyeshon King,
the sole defendant in this case, was found by officers in the
basement of the residence at 180 Houston in a room which had
been converted into a bedroom. (Id.) At that time,
he was patted down for weapons and taken upstairs while
officers searched the residence. (Id.) Evidence
seized from the basement of the residence during that search
includes two firearms, ammunition, one digital scale, and
plastic bags. (Id.) Defendant moves to suppress all
fruits of the March 24, 2017, search as a violation of his
rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States
Constitution [Doc. # 38].
mobile telephones were also seized during the pat-downs of
Defendant King and his brother Tyevhon and the search of the
residence. Those telephones were "comingled" by
officers at the scene, and it is unclear from whom and
exactly where in the residence each phone was seized.
(Govt.'s Opp. to Def.'s Mot. [Doc. # 56] at 28.)
Although the warrant of March 23, 2017, permitted seizure of
"mobile telephones" and a variety of information
stored on those telephones (Ex. A at 5), the government
obtained a supplemental warrant authorizing forensic
examination of those telephones "out of an abundance of
caution." (Govt.'s Opp. at 29.) That supplemental
warrant was requested and issued on May 21, 2018. (Ex. D
(Warrant) to Def.'s Mot. to Suppress [Doc. # 54] at 1,
5). Although the government has represented that it does not
intend to use any material derived from Mr. King's mobile
telephone in its case-in-chief (Govt.'s Opp. at 29), Mr.
has moved to suppress any evidence recovered in the search
authorized by the warrant of May 21, 2018, as stale and in
violation of his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the
United States Constitution. [Doc. # 52.]
Search of 180 Houston Avenue
contends that the search conducted pursuant to the March 23,
2017, warrant violated his Fourth Amendment rights because
the affidavit supporting the government's warrant
application did not support a finding of probable cause and
because the good faith exception to the valid warrant
requirement does not apply here. He therefore argues that all
evidence seized from the house at 180 Houston Avenue pursuant
to that warrant must be suppressed. (Def.'s Mem. Supp.
Mot. to Suppress [Doc # 39].)