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U.S. v. LOCKETT

January 12, 2004.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. ROGERS LOCKETT, III


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CYNTHIA RUFE, District Judge

FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ORDER

Upon consideration of Defendant's Motion To Suppress Physical Evidence and Statements and the Government's response thereto, the Government's proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and Defendant's Supplemental Memorandum, and after a hearing thereon, the Court hereby enters the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

1. On Wednesday, February 5, 2003, at approximately 12:10 p.m., law enforcement officers Carl Giardinelli, William J. Burdette and James Corbett were working with a multi-agency drug interdiction task force at the Amtrak 30th Street Train Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  2. Special Agent Giardinelli is and was at all times an agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration ("DBA") where he has been employed since March 1995.

  3. Officer Burdette is and was at all times a corporal with the Pennsylvania State Police assigned to the Bureau of Emergency and Special Operations and then reassigned to DEA. He has been involved in narcotics enforcement at various times throughout his seventeen years with the Pennsylvania State Police. His duties while assigned to DEA have included interdiction at airports, train stations and bus depots and have involved numerous consensual encounters.

  4. Officer Corbett is and was at all times a member of the Philadelphia Police Department. He has been detailed to DEA since 1988. His duties while with DEA have Page 2 included drug interdiction at airports, train stations and bus depots.

  5. Special Agent Giardinelli, Corporal Burdette and Officer Corbett were dressed in casual civilian clothes on February 5, 2003. They were all armed with handguns, which were concealed beneath their clothing.

  6. At approximately 12:10 p.m., Agent Giardinelli and Corporal Burdette observed an African-American male wearing an orange shirt walking around the train station waiting area and talking on a cell phone for approximately 20 minutes. At approximately 12:30 p.m., the unidentified male sat down on a bench and continued to talk on his cell phone. Shortly thereafter, a second African-American male, later identified as Defendant Rogers Lockett, sat down next to the first male in the orange shirt. Lockett placed his bags, a rolling suitcase and a backpack, on the bench as well. Then, the man in the orange shirt, while continuing to talk on his cell phone, shook Lockett's hand and walked away.

  7. Lockett remained seated on the bench, which was on the left side of the train station. The waiting area inside the station is large, open and well-lit, approximately one city block long. There are shops, restaurants and kiosks on either side and behind where Lockett was seated. Directly to Lockett's left was a hallway that leads into another large, open area where bathrooms, Amtrak ticket offices and rental car offices are located. Approximately twelve (12) feet in front of Lockett was another row of benches and beyond that a stairwell leading down to a train platform. Agent Giardinelli and Corporal Burdette were standing in the center of the station, near an information desk and underneath a board listing train departure and arrival times. At the time relevant to this motion, there were many members of the general public in the station.

  8. Agent Giardinelli and Corporal Burdette observed Lockett sitting on the bench staring Page 3 glassy-eyed at the floor. The officers found it particularly strange that Lockett did not react in any way when Officer Corbett interdicted an Asian woman directly in front of Lockett.

  9. After observing Lockett for approximately fifteen (15) minutes, Agent Giardinelli and Corporal Burdette approached Lockett. Corporal Burdette showed Lockett his badge, identified himself, and asked Lockett if he would answer a few questions. When Lockett said "Yes," Corporal Burdette sat down on the bench approximately two (2) feet to Lockett's right. Agent Giardinelli remained standing a few feet to the right of Corporal Burdette. No law enforcement officer was directly in front or to the left of Lockett. Although Officer Corbett and Amtrak Police Officer Scan Martin were in the vicinity, neither was closer than ten to fifteen feet from Lockett and neither was in his field of vision.

  10. In a conversational tone, Corporal Burdette asked Lockett some questions about his travel. Lockett responded willingly and coherently to the questions, telling Corporal Burdette that he was from Philadelphia but was traveling to Boston. When Corporal Burdette asked to see Lockett's identification and train ticket, Lockett handed him his ticket to Boston and his college identification for Newbury College. Corporal Burdette examined these documents and promptly returned them to Lockett.

  11. After returning the ticket and identification, Corporal Burdette explained to Lockett that he and Agent Giardinelli were looking for contraband, including narcotics, large sums of money, guns and other weapons and asked Lockett if he had any of these items in his possession. Lockett said he did not.

  12. Corporal Burdette then asked Lockett if the bag (the rolling suitcase) on the seat next to Lockett belonged to him. Lockett admitted the bag was his. Corporal Burdette then asked if Page ...


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