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United States v. Noble

July 26, 2007

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ROBERT EARL NOBLE,



The opinion of the court was delivered by: District Judge McLaughlin

MEMORANDUM OPINION

McLAUGHLIN, SEAN J., J.

Presently pending before the Court is a Motion to Suppress filed by Defendant, Robert Earl Noble. An evidentiary hearing on the motion was held on June 14, 2007.

On February 14, 2006, a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Defendant for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(1), and for making counterfeit obligations or securities in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 471. Evidence supporting both charges was found during a search of Defendant's residence on October 18, 2005. The Defendant contends that neither his arrest at his home or subsequent search thereof was supported by reasonable suspicion.

In the instant motion, Defendant seeks to suppress the evidence recovered during the search of his residence because he contends it was based upon a stale tip from an unreliable informant. He further contends that his statements to law enforcement officers following the search should be suppressed as fruits of the unlawful search.

A. Findings of Fact

The following constitute the Court's findings of fact.

1) Parole Agent David Divell, who had over 33 years experience as a parole agent for the Pennsylvania State Parole Board, testified that he began supervising Defendant in January, 2005. At that time, he was aware that Defendant had prior convictions related to drugs and assaultive behavior. (Hearing on Defendant's Motion to Suppress, Transcript, p. 16-17).

2) Various conditions of parole were imposed on Defendant as a result of the his parolee status, including the following:

* You shall not possess pagers, cell phones, or drug paraphernalia - - mandatory.

* You shall not operate a motor vehicle without a valid Pennsylvania driver's license, proof of insurance, vehicle registration and supervising agent's prior written permission.

(Transcript, p. 18; Government's Exhibit 2). In addition, Agent Divell also imposed special curfew restrictions on Defendant. Defendant assented to these conditions and signed the parole agreement. (Id).

3) On February 25, 2005, Defendant was given a written warning based upon a failure to report his employment change and to attend required re-entry program appointments. (Transcript, p. 20).

4) On March 7, 2005, an administrative conference was held with Defendant at which time he was issued a warning for traveling to Cleveland, Ohio without permission and for operating a motor vehicle there and back without a valid operator's license. (Transcript, pp. 20-21).

5) On September 8, 2005, Defendant reported to Agent Divell that, although Defendant had been charged for driving without a license, it was, in fact, his brother who had been operating the vehicle and had given the police Defendant's name. At that meeting, Agent Divell instructed Defendant to go to the Erie Police Department with his brother and inform ...


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