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United States v. Mote

June 10, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
KRISHNA MOTE, DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge James M. Munley United States District Court

(Judge Munley)

MEMORANDUM

Before the court are Defendant Krishna Mote's pre-trial motions (Docs. 602-610). Having been fully briefed, the matters are ripe for disposition.

Background

On April 4, 2007, a grand jury sitting in Scranton, Pennsylvania returned a thirteen-count indictment against Defendant Krishna Mote and nine other individuals. The indictment charged the defendants with a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A) and 846. Each of the individual defendants also faced counts of possession and distribution of that drug in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The indictment named defendant here on the conspiracy count and in Count III for possession and distribution.

United States District Judge Sylvia Rambo issued an arrest warrant for the defendant on that day. Officers were unable to execute this warrant for almost three years, however, and defendant did not make his initial appearance until March 15, 2010. (See Doc. 591). On that date, the court appointed an attorney for the defendant, who then pled not guilty. (Doc. 592). On April 5, 2010, defendant filed a series of discovery motions. The government then responded to those motions, bringing the case to its present posture.

Defendants' Motions

The court will address each of defendant's motions in turn.

i. Motion for Disclosure of Exculpatory or Impeaching Evidence (Doc. 602)

Defendant seeks from the government any potentially exculpatory evidence as required by Brady v.Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) and the cases that followed. The defendant requests a variety of evidence, including: the name and address of every person the government has interviewed in connection with the case, even if that person will not be called at trial; all written statements, transcripts, recordings, and summary notes of oral statements made by these persons; any written or recorded statements from anyone the government does not intend to call at trial, if such statements would be impeaching or potentially exculpatory; any information which could show bias or prejudice on the part of a witness or government agent or prosecutor; any reports, memoranda or public statement which could help impeach a government witness or is otherwise exculpatory; names and addresses of those who could provide testimony or information favorable to defense and a summary of such testimony; any other potentially exculpatory information; evidence that a prospective witness is under investigation for criminal or official misconduct; any relevant information on medical and psychiatric treatment or evaluations of prospective witnesses that would indicate impaired ability to communicate or remember, as well as evidence of narcotic or alcohol abuse by witnesses; information on any promises or grants of immunity, promises or agreements not to prosecute, or sentencing recommendations made to prospective witnesses in exchange for their testimony, and the names and addresses of any such witnesses; any information that would contradict any witness statement possessed by the government; any written or oral statement made by the defendant in the government's possession; any information about an eyewitness the government does not intend to call; any information that would tend to lower or alter the sentencing guidelines as they apply to defendant; information on any cooperating witnesses in the case; information on the agreements made with any cooperating witnesses and on any criminal records for these witnesses; information that would undermine the credibility of such cooperating witnesses; information on the nature of any plea agreements reached with cooperating witnesses; and a variety of information which could be used to undermine the credibility of any witness who testifies

The United States does not dispute that defendant is entitled to any potentially exculpatory and impeaching information, responding that it is aware of its obligation to provide defendant with any favorable evidence, and promising to provide such evidence if available. In addition, the United States agrees to provide defendant with copies of plea agreements and proffer letters made with cooperating witnesses who will testify at trial, as well as agreements regarding grants of immunity or promises not to prosecute made to witnesses. The government will likewise provide defendant with the prior criminal record of any government witness. The government also agrees to inform defendant of any payments made to any confidential informant in exchange for testifying, and to provide defendant with copies of witness statements for those witnesses it intends to call at trial in conformance with the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500.

The court will the deny the motion as moot without prejudice to the defendant raising the issue later if the defendant finds that specific information has not been provided. The defendant makes a number of very detailed requests for information, and the government has generally agreed to provide information in all of the categories that defendant seeks. So long as defendant receives that information, the government has complied with its obligations to provide potentially exculpatory and impeaching information.

ii. Discovery of Grand Jury Transcripts (Doc. 603)

Defendant also seeks the discovery of any grand jury transcripts and other grand jury material related to this case. The government acknowledges that it has an obligation to provide the transcripts, and agrees to do so in conformance with the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. ยง 3500, and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Since--in terms of transcripts--the government has agreed to provide what the defendant requests at an appropriate time, the court will deny the motion as moot ...


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