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United States of America v. Gregory Washington

September 13, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GREGORY WASHINGTON, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

ELECTRONICALLY FILED

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF COURT RE: DEFENDANT WASHINGTON'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS STATEMENTS (Doc. No. 571) Presently before the Court is Defendant Gregory Washington's Motion to Suppress Statements. Doc. No. 571. This Court held a Suppression Hearing on the Motion on September 11, 2012.*fn1 There was only one witness, Deputy Richard Ian Barrett of the Allegheny County Sherriff's Office, who was questioned on direct examination by the Government and cross-examined by Defense Counsel. In light of this Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of law, as set forth below, Defendant's Motion to Suppress Statements will be denied.

I.Findings of Fact

1. On March 2, 2012, Defendant Washington was arrested based upon an Indictment issued by a Federal grand jury related to the F.B.I.'s investigation of the Manchester O.G.'s.

2. Defendant Washington was taken to the F.B.I. building on Pittsburgh's Southside.

3. He was placed within a meeting room that held a desk and three chairs. Defendant sat in the chair closest to the door.

4. Defendant was questioned by Deputy Richard Ian Barrett who is employed by the Allegheny County Sherriff's Department and is a member of the F.B.I.'s Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Taskforce and F.B.I. Special Agent Mike O'Mahoney from approximately 4:50pm to 6:45pm. The Officers sat facing Defendant in two chair across the desk. The questioning was not recorded. The tone of the encounter was "calm."

5. At the beginning of the interview, Deputy Barrett presented Defendant with the standard F.B.I. Advice of Rights form. The Deputy read the form to Defendant and presented the form to Defendant for his signature. The form is dated 3/2/2011 5:00pm.

6. Defendant refused to sign the F.B.I. form and indicated that he didn't want to sign anything. Deputy Barrett verbally asked Defendant if he wanted to continue questioning. Defendant responded in the affirmative.

7. Questioning continued for another hour until approximately 5:55pm. Officers played audiotapes of telephone conversations which had been obtained through wiretaps. Defendant said that he was not the person whose voice was recorded on the tapes. Detectives informed Defendant that he did not have to speak to that point because they had proof that it was him. After a short while the Detectives outlined to Defendant why they believed that it was him on the audiotapes.

8. Deputy Barrett again asked Defendant to sign the F.B.I. Advice of Rights form outlining his Miranda rights. Defendant again refused and indicated that he did not want to sign anything "for fear it would come back later on him." However, he responded that he would like to continue questioning.

9. Special Agent O'Mahoney hand wrote on the F.B.I. Advice of Rights form that "Mr. Washington said he understands his rights, and will answer questions but does not want to sign anything." Defendant was not asked to initial this statement. It was signed by both Officers at 5:53pm.

10. Defendant never invoked his right to remain silent or asked for an attorney. Defendant would not have been refused use of the restroom and would have been provided food or drink had ...


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