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U.S. v. GRIGGS

August 15, 2000

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
V.
DAVID M. GRIGGS, A/K/A DAVID BRIGGS, A/K/A DAVID GREGGS, A/K/A JAMES BROOK, A/K/A DAVID DRUMMOND, AND ERIC SPENCER SAUNDERS, A/K/A ERIC SPENCER, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: McCLURE, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM

BACKGROUND:

On March 8, 2000, a grand jury sitting in the Middle District of Pennsylvania returned an indictment charging defendants David M. Griggs and Eric Spencer Saunders with possession with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of cocaine base (crack cocaine), in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(iii). Both defendants entered pleas of not guilty at arraignment on March 29, 2000 (Griggs), and April 11, 2000 (Saunders). Jury selection currently is scheduled for September 6, 2000.

Before the court is a motion by Saunders to compel discovery. A pending motion by Saunders to suppress evidence will be addressed by separate order, an evidentiary hearing on the motion having been held August 11, 2000.

DISCUSSION:

I. STATEMENT OF FACTS

Because this is a criminal matter, of course, no record has been created from which the court may recite established facts.*fn1 The following facts are presented in the parties' briefs and are set forth only for the purpose of placing the legal discussion into context. Factual matters relating to the issue of probable cause are omitted.

On February 29, 2000, at approximately 9:15 p.m., Corporal Terrance Jankouskas of the Pennsylvania State Police was patrolling Interstate Highway 80 in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. He conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Saunders with Griggs, the owner, in the passenger seat. After obtaining consent to search the vehicle, Jankouskas found a quantity of crack cocaine hidden in a hoagie*fn2 wrapper. Saunders and Griggs were arrested and given their Miranda warnings. Saunders admitted to driving Griggs to Philadelphia to get the crack and to being a user himself. At the Hazleton State Police Barracks, Saunders signed a written waiver of his Miranda rights, then gave a full statement inculpating himself. According to the government, he admitted to having transported crack for Griggs on previous occasions and to knowing that the crack was in the vehicle on this occasion.

On May 24, 2000, counsel for Saunders was given copies of the relevant State Police report concerning the instant charges, copies of a laboratory report showing that 82.8 grams of crack was found, and the substance of all statements of the defendant. The notes made by the interrogating officers were not provided, however.

II. DISCOVERY OF ITEMS SOUGHT

Saunders seeks three items or classes of items: a written warning issued after the traffic stop by the arresting officer; information relating to open case files and investigations which are referenced in the police reports provided in discovery; and handwritten notes of the interview of Saunders following his arrest.

The government indicates in its brief in opposition to the motion to compel that the written warning relating to the traffic stop has been provided, and, indeed, the same was presented as the government's first exhibit at the suppression hearing. This request is therefore moot.

Saunders cites no authority for the proposition that he is entitled to discovery of investigative reports generally, and we are aware of none. That request will be denied.

The government opposes disclosure of the rough notes of interview because it already has provided a copy of a typewritten version of the statement prepared from the rough ...


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