United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Richard Caputo United States District Judge.
me are nine (9) “Pre Trial Motions” (Doc. 34)
filed by Defendant Caleb Guerrier ("Defendant").
For the reasons that follow, I will deny all of
Defendant's motions, except for Defendant's
"Motion to Suppress Illegally Obtained
Statement/Confession, " and "Motion to Suppress
Evidence Intentionally Seized Pursuant to a Search Warrant
Based Upon an Affidavit Which on Its Face Failed to Establish
Probable Cause, " which will be dismissed. Defendant
will be permitted to refile them to properly, and
exhaustively, put forward his arguments.
February 9, 2016, a federal grand jury returned an indictment
charging Defendant with drug trafficking and firearms
offenses, including: Count 1, Distribution of Cocaine Base
(Crack), on November 7, 2013, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(a)(1); Count 2, Distribution of Cocaine Base
(Crack), on November 13, 2013, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C); Count 3, Convicted
Felon in Possession of Firearms, on March 20, 2014, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. 922 §§ (g)(1) and 924(e),
and; Count 4, Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated
Serial Number, on March 20, 2014, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 922(k) and 924(a)(1)(B). The indictment also
includes a forfeiture allegation.
Defendant failed to include a factual background section in
his brief, I will rely on the factual averments in the
Government's brief in opposition. (Doc. 35, at
criminal charges in this matter stem from an investigation
conducted by the Luzerne County Drug Task Force and other
local law enforcement authorities in Luzerne County.
November 7, 2013, investigators from the Luzerne County Drug
Task Force utilized a confidential informant to make a
“controlled purchase” of crack cocaine from
Defendant in exchange for the sum of $200. The drug
transaction took place at a location in Pittston, Luzerne
County. The drug transaction was preceded by a series of
telephone calls between the confidential informant and
Defendant, which were recorded by investigators pursuant to
Pennsylvania law. Prior to the transaction, the confidential
informant was searched for money, drugs, or contraband, with
negative results. Investigators also provided the
confidential informant with $200 in prerecorded U.S.
currency. Investigators then established surveillance in the
area of the prearranged meeting location and were able to
observe Defendant arriving at the location in order to meet
with the confidential informant. After the transaction, the
confidential informant provided investigators with a quantity
of suspected cocaine which he/she indicated had been
purchased from Defendant in exchange for $200. Again,
investigators searched the confidential informant and his/her
vehicle for money, drugs, or contraband with negative
November 13, 2013, members of the Luzerne County Drug Task
Force again utilized a confidential informant to make a
“controlled purchase” of crack cocaine from
Defendant in exchange for $200. The drug transaction was
again preceded by a number of telephone calls between the
confidential informant and the defendant. The confidential
informant was again provided with the sum of $200 in
prerecorded U.S. currency in order to purchase crack cocaine
from Defendant. Investigators then established surveillance
in the area of the prearranged meeting location in Pittston
Township, Luzerne County, and were able to observe Defendant
at the meeting location. Investigators observed Defendant
enter the confidential informant's vehicle, remain inside
for a brief period of time, and then exit the confidential
informant's vehicle. Defendant then entered a
dark-colored Lexus sedan, bearing Pennsylvania registration
JBY2550, and left the area. A search of motor vehicle records
revealed that the Lexus sedan was registered to Defendant.
the transaction, investigators met with the confidential
informant, who tuned over to investigators a quantity of
suspected crack cocaine. The confidential informant was again
searched for money, drugs, or contraband with negative
results. Investigators subsequently obtained an arrest
warrant for Defendant.
March 20, 2014, members of the Luzerne County Drug Task Force
attempted to serve the arrest warrant on Defendant.
Investigators proceeded to a residence located at 43 Marcy
Court, Hanover Township, Luzerne County. Police officers
approached the residence and knocked on the door. Defendant
answered the door and allowed the police officers into his
residence, where he was taken into custody. Noting the
presence of several pit bulls in the residence, as well as
observing children's clothing, officers conducted a
“protective sweep” of the residence and observed
a stainless steel revolver in an open bag on the floor of a
bedroom of the residence. The residence was then secured, and
Officer Mark Stefanowicz of the Hanover Township Police
Department obtained a search warrant for the residence. The
search warrant was approved by the Luzerne County District
Attorney's Office and was signed by District Magistrate
Judge Joseph Halesey.
subsequent search of the residence at 43 Marcy Court resulted
in the seizure of a number of items, including the following:
1) Charter Arms Undercover .38 special handgun with an
obliterated serial number; 2) Taurus PT 738 .380 handgun with
an obliterated serial number;
3) Glock 19 9mm handgun;
4) Springfield XD-9 9mm handgun;
5) Lorcin L9 9mm handgun with an obliterated serial number;
6) 20 gauge shotgun with no make, model, or ...