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U.S. v. POOLE

September 12, 2005.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
TYRONE POOLE, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SYLVIA RAMBO, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM

Before the court are Defendant Tyrone Poole's Motion to Suppress Evidence (Doc. 26) and Motion to Suppress Statements (Doc. 28). For the reasons that follow, the court will deny both motions.

I. Background

  A. Factual Background

  i. The Search Warrant and February 25, 2005 Search

  The search warrant at issue was issued on February 24, 2005 upon a finding of probable cause by District Justice Roy Bridges. (Def.'s Mot. to Suppress, Ex. A.) Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Jon J. Mearkle submitted the supporting affidavit. (Id.) Trooper Mearkle stated that as a member of the Pennsylvania State Police he has conducted numerous drug investigations involving the illegal sale and possession of marijuana, heroine, and cocaine. (Id.)

  Trooper Mearkle stated in the affidavit that, while undercover, he purchased crack cocaine from Defendant on February 11, 2005 and on February 22, 2005 (one and one-half and one-half ounces, respectively). (Id.) The affidavit also stated that on both occasions police officers observed Defendant travel from his residence at 1525 South 12th Street in Harrisburg, PA, directly to the location where he completed his transactions with Trooper Mearkle. (Id.)

  Trooper Mearkle, along with other members of the Pennsylvania State Police, executed the warrant and searched Defendant's residence on February 25, 2005. (Id.) The police recovered an electronic scale, one bag of sandwich bags, one bag of marijuana, one small bag of cocaine, and two additional bags of cocaine. (Id.)

  ii. Defendant's February 25, 2005 Statements

  Defendant made the statements at issue on February 25, 2005, during conversations with Trooper Mearkle and Corporal Fenstermacher that took place before and after the search of his residence. (Def.'s Mot. to Suppress Statements, Ex. A.) The pre-search conversation took place in the conference room of the FBI office in Harrisburg, PA. (Id.) Defendant had been ordered to appear before the court, which is located in the same building, for an unrelated proceeding on February 25th.

  Trooper Mearkle indicated that he waited for Defendant to arrive at the FBI office following the court proceeding, per Corporal Fenstermacher's instructions. (Suppression Hr'g, Aug. 30, 2005.) Defendant arrived at the FBI office with his attorney Sanford Krevsky, Corporal Fenstermacher, another police officer, and others. (Id.) Trooper Mearkle and Corporal Fenstermacher then met with the Defendant and Mr. Krevsky. (Mot. to Suppress Statements, Ex. A.)

  Trooper Mearkle stated that he informed Defendant and Mr. Krevsky that he was a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper and that he had a search warrant for Defendant's residence. (Id.) Trooper Mearkle said he then asked Defendant if he wanted to cooperate with the police and indicated that such cooperation would be in the Defendant's best interests with respect to diminishing his criminal liability. (Id.)

  Trooper Mearkle and Corporal Fenstermacher then left the conference room and allowed Defendant and Mr. Krevsky to confer privately for about 10-15 minutes. (Suppression Hr'g, Aug. 30, 2005.) When Trooper Mearkle and Corporal Fenstermacher returned to the conference room both Mr. Krevsky and Defendant indicated that Defendant wanted to cooperate with the police. (Id.)

  During the meeting, Trooper Mearkle also questioned Defendant regarding the location of 2 ounces of crack cocaine that Defendant had been planning to sell to Trooper Mearkle later that day. (Mot. to Suppress Statements, Ex. A.) Defendant said he had not gotten the cocaine yet and that there was nothing illegal in his house. (Id.) Defendant also said the ...


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