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United States v. Hoover

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

August 7, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
RICHARD CHASE HOOVER

          MEMORANDUM RE: MOTION TO SUPPRESS

          BAYLSON, J.

         I. Introduction and Background

         Defendant Richard Chase Hoover moves to suppress evidence seized pursuant to an anticipatory search warrant. Defendant contends that because there were errors in the information that formed the basis of the warrant, the evidence is “fruit of the poisonous tree.”

         On October 17, 2018, a grand jury returned a Superseding Indictment against nine defendants, including Hoover, who is accused of three counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances in violation of drug trafficking provisions. (ECF 16.) Defendant filed his Motion to Suppress on March 6, 2019 (Mot., ECF 166). An evidentiary hearing was held on June 10, 2019, where the Government introduced twelve exhibits. Following the hearing, Defendant amended his motion on June 24, 2019 (Am. Mot., ECF 287), the Government responded on July 12, 2019 (ECF 303), and Defendant replied (ECF 315).

         For the reasons that follow, Hoover's Motion to Suppress will be denied.

         II. Anticipatory Warrant

         The evidence that Defendant seeks to suppress was obtained pursuant to the execution of an anticipatory search warrant on Apartment #717 of the One Water Street Apartments at 250 N. Columbus Boulevard. (Reply at 1.) “An anticipatory search warrant is ‘a warrant based upon an affidavit showing probable cause that at some future time (but not presently) certain evidence of crime will be located at a specified place.'” United States v. Golson, 743 F.3d 44, 54 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing United States v. Grubbs, 547 U.S. 90, 94 (2006).

         The anticipatory search warrant (Gov. Ex. 1) permitted search and seizure “[i]f Richard Hoover arrives in a red Volvo truck in the Philadelphia area and thereafter travels to the building at 2323 Race St. or 250 N. Columbus Boulevard, entering the building carrying containers large enough to contain kilogram quantities of Narcotics.” (Id. at ¶ 64.)

         III. Discussion

         Defendant moves to suppress the evidence obtained through the anticipatory search warrant on three grounds.[1] First, he asserts that the information in the warrant was obtained through “a series of Pen Register and 2703(d) Orders that were not premised on specific and articulable facts showing that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the records or other information sought through the orders were relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.” (Am. Mot. at 2.) Second, Defendant argues that the government “requested, and obtained, real-time cell site location information through the Pen Register and 2703(d) Orders when a warrant was required.” (Id.) Third, he contends that the October 3, 2017 Application and Order “contain several identification and substantive factual errors.” (Id.) Before addressing these arguments, the Court examines the Government's assertion that Defendant does not have standing to challenge the anticipatory search warrant.

         A. Defendant's standing to challenge the Anticipatory Search Warrant

         The Government argues that Defendant lacks standing to challenge the search of the Water Street Apartment because his only connection to the property was his storage of drugs, and thus he had no expectation of privacy. (Resp. at 7-8.) Defendant replies that he “has standing to challenge the search warrant of the apartment to which the government attempts to repeatedly tie Hoover's presence.” (Reply at 3.)

         To have standing to challenge a search, a defendant must show that he had a legitimate expectation of privacy in the area searched and that his personal expectation of privacy was violated. Rawlings v. Kentucky, 448 U.S. 98, 104 (1980); Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 143 (1978). A connection with a property solely for drug-related activities is insufficient to confer standing. United States v. Perez, 280 F.3d 318, 337-38 (3d Cir. 2002).

         There is evidence before the Court that, at the very least, Defendant picked up keys from the Water Street Apartment management company. (See Gov. Ex. 1 at ΒΆ 56.) Although Defendant has not himself argued that he had a legitimate expectation of privacy in the apartment because he lived or resided there, the Court assumes for purposes ...


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