United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Christopher C. Conner, Chief Judge.
Devin Bullock (“Bullock”) moves the court to
suppress evidence obtained following a warrantless arrest and
to dismiss Count 1 of his indictment on double jeopardy
grounds. (Docs. 25, 37). We will deny both motions.
Findings of Fact 
11:00 p.m. on September 30, 2016, Harrisburg Police Officer
Nicholas Ishman (“Officer Ishman”) received a
phone call from Dauphin County Probation Officer Brandon
Reigle (“Reigle”). (Tr. 2:5-12, 4:5-12, 7:22-24,
8:9-12). Officer Ishman was familiar with Reigle from working
with him on previous occasions and knew that Reigle was
reliable. (Id. at 8:3-8, 18:16-20). Reigle explained
that he had received a tip from a confidential informant that
Bullock was spotted at Club 1400 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,
with a firearm. (Id. at 8:12-16, 9:14-19,
18:24-19:3). Reigle described Bullock's attire as
“dark jeans, a gray sweatshirt, and a dark hat.”
(Id. at 8:17-20). Officer Ishman was familiar with
Bullock from working in the “uptown” area of
Harrisburg. (Id. at 9:3-17).
Ishman and his partner immediately drove to Club 1400,
intending to enter the bar, make contact with Bullock, and
investigate the situation. (Id. at 8:24-9:2,
9:20-24). Officer Ishman's partner knew that
Bullock's criminal history made him a person not to
possess firearms. (Id. at 10:3-6). While driving to
Club 1400, Officer Ishman checked Bullock's docket sheets
from the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System's website,
which indicated that Bullock had past convictions for
burglary and robbery, confirming that Bullock was prohibited
from possessing a firearm. (Id. at 10:6-18).
Officer Ishman and his partner arrived at Club 1400, they
parked their vehicle pointing in the direction of the bar and
waited for backup to arrive. (Id. at 10:25-11:9).
Several minutes later, Bullock-wearing clothes that matched
Reigle's description-emerged from the bar and began
walking eastbound toward Calder Street. (Id. at
11:1-2, 10-16, 25:2-7). Officer Ishman drove in the same
direction and, shortly after turning onto Calder Street, saw
Bullock getting into the driver's seat of a parked Lexus
SUV. (Id. at 12:2-5, 19-22, 13:8-9). Officer Ishman
stopped his vehicle in the middle of the street facing
Bullock's SUV so that his lights would illuminate
Bullock's car. (Id. at 12:23-13:11). As Officer
Ishman began to exit his vehicle to approach Bullock, he saw
Bullock's right shoulder rise and then both shoulders and
arms dip below the dashboard. (Id. at 13:12-14:16).
Believing Bullock's movements to be indicative of
removing a firearm from the waistband area, Officer Ishman
drew his gun and began yelling at Bullock to put his hands in
the air. (Id. at 14:18-15:18, 31:7-11). After a few
seconds' hesitation, Bullock brought his hands up from
below the dashboard and put them above the steering wheel.
(Id. at 16:2-11).
Officer Ishman approached Bullock's driver's side
door, which was still open, he noticed the back sights and
grips of a handgun protruding from under the driver's
side floor mat. (Id. at 16:13-17:4, 26:23-27:5). The
back of the handgun was visible because the floor mat had
caught on Bullock's foot, causing the mat to lift as
Bullock was stepping out of the SUV. (Id. at
16:23-17:4, 17:14-16, 30:12-31:2). Upon seeing the handgun,
Officer Ishman handcuffed Bullock and took him into custody.
(Id. at 17:13, 18-20, 31:23-24). The handgun was
then recovered from the vehicle and Officer Ishman's
partner provided Bullock with his Miranda warnings,
which Bullock waived. (Id. at 17:24-18:4, 32:6-16;
Def. Ex. 100 at 7:17-24, 18:6-15). Bullock admitted that the
gun was his during a post-arrest, on-scene interview by the
arresting officers. (Tr. 18:5-6; Def. Ex. 100 at 7:20-23,
federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging
Bullock with, inter alia, possession of a firearm by
a felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (Count
Bullock pled not guilty and moved to suppress all evidence
stemming from the September 30, 2016 seizure and arrest. The
court convened a suppression hearing on June 10, 2019, during
which only Officer Ishman testified. Bullock separately moved
to dismiss Count 1 of the indictment, arguing that the
federal prosecution violated the Double Jeopardy Clause of
the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The
motions are fully briefed and ripe for disposition.
Motion to Suppress Evidence
contends that the police lacked legal authority to seize him
on the night in question. He posits that this unlawful
detention led to an unlawful warrantless arrest, which
precipitated his incriminating statements and the
officers' illegal seizure of the firearm from his
vehicle. We disagree.
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects
individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures.
See U.S. Const. amend. IV; Horton v.
California, 496 U.S. 128, 133 (1990). Unlike a
warrantless arrest, which demands probable cause, an
investigative detention only requires reasonable suspicion of
wrongdoing. United States v. Navedo, 694 F.3d 463,
467-68 (3d Cir. 2012). Reasonable suspicion exists if the law
enforcement officer can identify “specific and
articulable facts, which, taken together with rational
inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant [the]
intrusion, ” or, in other words, “raise a
suspicion that the particular individual being stopped is
engaged in wrongdoing.” Id. at 468
(alterations in original) (quoting Terry v. Ohio,
392 U.S. 1, 30 (1968); United States v. Cortez, 449
U.S. 411, 418 (1981)). When determining whether an officer
possessed reasonable suspicion for an investigative
detention, courts must consider the totality of the
circumstances, including the officer's “knowledge,
experience, and common sense judgments about human
behavior.” Id. at 468 (quoting United
States v. Robertson, 305 F.3d 164, 167 (3d Cir. 2002)).
Reasonable suspicion “unequivocally demands” that
the detaining officer have “a particularized and
objective basis” for suspecting the person detained of
criminal activity. United States v. Brown, 448 F.3d
239, 246 (3d Cir. 2006) (citation omitted).
no difficulty finding that Officer Ishman had reasonable
suspicion to detain Bullock. Officer Ishman received
information from a trusted probation officer that Bullock was
spotted at a bar with a firearm. That officer also described
the clothing that Bullock was wearing. Officer Ishman's
partner knew Bullock was not permitted to possess firearms,
and Officer Ishman confirmed this fact while driving to the
bar. Shortly after the officers arrived at Club 1400, Bullock
exited the bar wearing attire matching the description
provided. When Officer Ishman stopped his vehicle on Calder
Street near Bullock's SUV to investigate the situation,
he witnessed Bullock ...