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United States of America v. Isaiah Grier

November 15, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ISAIAH GRIER



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Terrence F. McVerry United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF COURT

Presently pending before the Court are the following pretrial motions filed by Defendant Isaiah Grier: the MOTION FOR BILL OF PARTICULARS (Doc. No. 21); the MOTION FOR DISCOVERY (Doc. No. 22); the MOTION TO COMPEL PROFFER OF GOVERNMENT'S EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY (Doc. No. 23); the MOTION FOR DISCLOSURE OF JENCKS MATERIAL (Doc. No. 24); the MOTION FOR JAMES HEARING (Doc. No. 25); the MOTION TO COMPEL THE GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTICE OF UNCHARGED MISCONDUCT EVIDENCE (Doc. No. 26); and the MOTION FOR GOVERNMENT AGENTS AND STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO RETAIN ROUGH NOTES AND WRITINGS (Doc. No. 27). The government has filed an Omnibus response (Doc. No. 28), and the motions are now ripe for disposition.

Discussion

On June 13, 2012, Grier was charged in a one-count indictment at Criminal No. 12-161 with Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute One Kilogram or More of Heroin from in and around December 2011 and continuing thereafter until on or about January 20, 2012, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. Defendant has filed numerous pretrial motions, and the Court will address them seriatim.

1. Motion for Bill of Particulars (Doc. No. 21)

Defendant moves for a bill of particulars pursuant to Rule 7(f) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure in order to clarify the purported lack of specificity in the indictment (i.e., that the indictment does not specify an overt act), and he claims that an indictment which speaks in generalities makes it difficult to prepare an adequate defense. Moreover, Grier submits that the absence of any specified overt act in the indictment makes him unable to ascertain the nature, scope and time period of the pending charges. Accordingly, Defendant requests the following:

a. The date on which the alleged conspiracy was formed;

b. The location where the alleged conspiracy was formed;

c. The names of those persons present when the alleged conspiracy was formed;

d. The date that Defendant Isaiah Grier is alleged to have joined the alleged conspiracy;

e. The role that Defendant Isaiah Grier played in the formation of the alleged conspiracy;

f. The location where said alleged conspiracy was formed;

g. Details as to whether the occurrence any particular event /events gave rise to the formation of said alleged conspiracy;

h. The basis for the conclusion that Defendant Isaiah Grier conspired with any persons both known and unknown from December 2011 to January 20, 2012;

i. Details relating to any alleged possession of heroin by Defendant as alleged in the Indictment to include the date, time and place of such possession to include the names of any persons who may have observed said activities;

j. All overt acts (including dates of, locations of and participants in any meetings or conversations) allegedly committed in furtherance of the activities of the alleged conspiracy; [and]

k. The names of any unindicted members of the alleged conspiracy with whom Defendant Isaiah Grier allegedly conspired with in furtherance of the conspiracy.

(Doc. No. 21 at 2-3). While not included in the list, Defendant also submits that that numerous intercepted telephone calls have been provided to counsel by the government and requests that the Court direct the government to specifically designate which recordings it intends to use against him at trial. To the Defendant, the government would not be prejudiced should the Court grant his motion as he only seeks to gain notice of and information relevant to the charged conduct which he cannot otherwise glean from discovery.

For its part, the government responds that Defendant "has more than sufficient information to inform him of the nature of the charges against him and to allow him to prepare a defense." (Doc. No. 28 at 3). The government notes that it has provided substantial discovery in this case, which include statements made by Grier, laboratory report(s), surveillance reports and pictures, recordings that Defendant made with co-conspirators, and other documents. Thus, as the government concludes, Defendant's claim that "he somehow lacks sufficient information to prepare his defense is simply not supported by the facts" and the motion should be denied.

Rule 7 of the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure provides, in pertinent part, as follows: The court may direct the government to file a bill of particulars. The defendant may move for a bill of particulars before or within 14 days after arraignment or at a later time if the court permits. The government ...


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