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United States v. Depass

August 13, 2010

UNITED STATES
v.
TARIK DEPASS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Slomsky, J.

OPINION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendant Tarik Depass was arrested on September 24, 2009 in connection with the robbery of United States Postal employee Elsa Ortiz.*fn1 On October 22, 2009, a federal grand jury indicted Defendant on one count of robbery of the U.S. Postal employee in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2114(a). On March 10, 2010, Defendant filed a Motion to Suppress Out-of-Court Identification (Doc. No. 24) now before the Court. The Government filed a response opposing the motion (Doc. No. 25). Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented by the parties at the July 1, 2010 hearing, Defendant's Motion to Suppress (Doc. No. 24), the Government's Response (Doc. No. 25), Defendant's Supplemental Motion to Suppress (Doc. No. 54), and the Government's Supplemental Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Suppress (Doc. No. 52) and for the reasons stated below, the Court will deny Defendant's Motion to Suppress Out-of-Court Identification.

II. FINDINGS OF FACT

1. On September 12, 2009, Ms. Ortiz attempted to deliver a priority mail package addressed to "Jalen Wilson" at 463 East Cheltenham Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. (Hearing, July 1, 2010, Hr'g Tr. 7:24-25.)

2. A Caucasian male, later identified as Aramando Zakarewicz,*fn2 answered the front door of 463 East Cheltenham Avenue and refused the package because no one named Jalen Wilson lived at the address. (Hr'g Tr. 8:1-3.)

3. Ms. Ortiz returned the package to the Post Office. (Def.'s Supplemental Mot. To Suppress, 2.)

4. On September 13, 2009, a request was made for re-delivery of the package. (Id.)

5. At approximately 10:45 a.m. on September 14, 2009, Ms. Ortiz attempted to re-deliver the package to 463 East Cheltenham Avenue. (Id.)

6. Ms. Ortiz encountered Mr. Zakarewicz, standing in an alleyway next to the house at 463 East Cheltenham Avenue, along with two African-American males, and again asked for Jalen Wilson. (Hr'g Tr. 9:10-25.)

7. Mr. Zakarewicz pointed out an African-American male, across the street, later identified as Defendant Tarik Depass. (Hr'g Tr. 8:1-3.)

8. Ms. Ortiz observed Defendant cross the street and informed him, as he was approaching her vehicle, that she needed to see identification before giving him the package. (Hr'g Tr. 10:9-15.) This encounter lasted approximately one minute. (Hr'g Tr. 61:22-24.)

9. Defendant entered the residence at 463 East Cheltenham Avenue and returned with an identification card. (Hr'g Tr. 10:18-23.)

10. Defendant approached Ms. Ortiz at the back of her vehicle and presented his identification card. (Hr'g Tr. pp. 10-11.) Defendant and Ms. Ortiz were standing face-to-face, a few feet apart. (Hr'g Tr. pp. 10-12.) Ms. Ortiz examined the card and noticed that the name and address on the identification card did not match the name and address on the package. (Hr'g Tr. 11:3-11.) Ms. Ortiz remembered the street name on the identification card was Frontenac. (Hr'g Tr. 11:7-9.) Ms. Ortiz refused to give the package to Defendant. (Hr'g Tr. 11:16-19.)

11. During the same conversation, Defendant informed Ms. Ortiz the package was intended for his uncle. (Hr'g Tr. 11:21-22.) Ms. Ortiz informed Defendant that she could not give Defendant the package but that Defendant's uncle could retrieve the package, with proper identification, at the Post Office. (Hr'g Tr. 11:23-25, 12:1-2.) This conversation lasted for "more than a few minutes." (Hr'g Tr. pp. 62-63.)

12. Ms. Ortiz returned the package to her vehicle and moved her vehicle to a nearby 7-Eleven parking lot. (Hr'g Tr. pp. 12-13.) While parked there, Ms. Ortiz overheard voices coming from the alleyway where she had previously encountered Mr. Zakarewicz and two other individuals. She heard an angry voice say, "That b**ch isn't going to give me the package." (Hr'g Tr. 13:11-13.) Ms. Ortiz ...


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