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United States v. Isaac

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

May 16, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
PRINCE ISAAC

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For USA, Plaintiff: MARK S. MILLER, LEAD ATTORNEY, ERIC B. HENSON, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, PHILA, PA.

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MEMORANDUM

Juan R. Sá nchez, J.

Defendant Prince Isaac asks this Court for a new trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33 based upon newly discovered documentary evidence that the Government failed to disclose to him prior to trial. He asserts the Government's failure to turn over four exculpatory documents that were critical to his defense violated his due process rights under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963). Alternatively, he argues this evidence meets the standard for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence under Rule 33. Though the evidence at issue was not disclosed prior to trial, upon review of the record, the Court is not persuaded there is a reasonable probability that, had the evidence been disclosed to the defense, the result of the proceeding would have been different. The Court will therefore deny Isaac's motion.

BACKGROUND

After a two-week jury trial, Isaac was convicted on September 21, 2007, of numerous federal offenses arising out of his involvement in a violent drug trafficking ring in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Isaac was convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count 1); engaging in continuing criminal enterprise in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 848 (Count 2); four counts of distribution of heroin and/or crack in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) & (b)(1)(C) (Counts 3, 6, 9, and 11); four counts of distribution of crack in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) & (b)(1)(B) (Counts 5, 7, 8, and 10); employment of a minor to distribute drugs in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 861 (Count 12); distribution of crack within 1000 feet of a public park in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 860(a) (Count 14); possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (Count 17); and two counts of tampering with a witness in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(1) & (2) (Counts 23 and 24).[1]

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On November 17, 2008, this Court sentenced Isaac to a total of life imprisonment,[2] and the Court entered judgment in the case on November 26, 2008.[3]

On April 28, 2009, Isaac filed a motion for new trial.[4] Isaac asserts he should receive a new trial because the prosecutor violated Brady by not disclosing certain evidence either before or during his trial, or, alternatively, the newly discovered evidence meets the standard for a new trial under Rule 33. The evidence that forms the basis of his claims is: (1) undisclosed cell phone records for a phone belonging to Isaac; (2) investigation notes about a car stop involving Government witness Lindsay Colon indicating that charges were pending against Colon, (3) a witness statement signed by Lindsay Colon; and (4) a memorandum from a Lancaster police officer to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office recommending Government witness Tracy Ramirez be removed from the witness protection program.

Lindsay Colon, Isaac's girlfriend at the time of the relevant events, was one of the Government's main witnesses against Isaac. At trial, she testified to first-person accounts of interactions between Isaac, his coconspirator Shamek Hynson, unidentified drug purchasers, and herself. Her testimony was very important to Isaac's convictions; the Presentence Investigation Report for Isaac states that of the 135.2 grams of crack and heroine attributed to the conspiracy count, 85 grams resulted from Colon's testimony. Presentence Investigation Report ¶ 47, United States v. Prince Isaac, No. 05-00576-01, September 8, 2008. During the trial, Colon testified that Isaac took a trip to South Carolina, leaving her with his cell phone and 28 grams of crack cocaine to sell to his existing customers on his behalf while he was gone; she stated she sold 20 of the 28 grams using Isaac's cell phone. Trial Tr. 2.128, 2.132, Sept. 11, 2007. Colon also testified (in a portion of her testimony unrelated to her account of Isaac's South Carolina trip) that Isaac's cell phone number was 717-203-3409. Trial Tr. 3.20, Sept. 12, 2007. Isaac asserts, and the Government does not dispute, that he traveled to South Carolina from approximately October 14-18, 2004. The crack cocaine Colon allegedly sold for Mr. Isaac via his cell phone during that time period formed the primary basis for the crack distribution offense charged in Count 5 [5] and also

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supported Isaac's other convictions. See Trial Tr. 114-16, Sept. 19, 2007 (Government's closing arguments).

Before trial, the Government provided Isaac with a copy of certain phone records for 717-203-3409 (Set 1), which were originally obtained by the Coatesville Police Department, and were passed to the City of Lancaster Police Department and then to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) before being produced to Isaac. Set 1 is a record called a " frequency report" and includes information about the frequency, date range, total duration, and subscriber for ...


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