United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
SARAH W. HAYS, Magistrate Judge.
This matter is currently before the Court on defendant Gadson's Motion to Suppress Illegally Obtained Evidence (doc #30). For the reasons set forth below, it is recommended that this motion be denied.
On April 8, 2014, the Grand Jury returned a one count indictment against defendant Jermaine L. Gadson. The indictment charges that on December 2, 2012, defendant Gadson, having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, knowingly possessed a firearm.
On February 9, 2015, an evidentiary hearing was held on defendant's motion to suppress. Defendant Gadson was represented by court-appointed counsel, Alex S. McCauley. The Government was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Bruce E. Clark. The Government called Mark Porter, who had retired from the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department in March 2013, and Officer John Dawdy of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department as witnesses. The defense called no witnesses to testify.
II. FINDINGS OF FACT
On the basis of the evidence adduced at the evidentiary hearing, the undersigned submits the following proposed findings of fact:
1. On December 2, 2012, Mark Porter was conducting plain-clothes surveillance of a residence. (Tr. at 6) Officer Porter was located in a shopping center just to the south of the residence under surveillance. (Tr. at 7) Officer Porter observed three people get into a vehicle and leave the residence. (Tr. at 7) Officer Porter followed the vehicle. (Tr. at 7) The vehicle proceeded westbound on Longview Road. (Tr. at 7)
2. Officer Porter observed the vehicle enter a traffic circle and then fail to signal as it exited the traffic circle by turning right on an outer road. (Tr. at 10) There was one car between Officer Porter's vehicle and the vehicle that he had followed from the residence as the vehicle entered the traffic circle and turned right. (Tr. at 19) Officer Porter, however, testified that he had a clear view of the vehicle that he had followed. (Tr. at 22) Officer Porter testified that the vehicle between him and the vehicle he was following did not impede his vision whatsoever. (Tr. at 30)
3. The street markings in the traffic circle indicate that a vehicle may go straight or turn right. (Tr. at 11; Government's Ex. 3) Officer Porter testified that based on his knowledge and experience as a police officer, when a person makes a right turn at an intersection, the person is required to signal. (Tr. at 30) Officer Porter further testified that based on his knowledge with respect to this traffic circle, the person driving should have signaled. (Tr. at 30) Officer Porter testified that the person driving the vehicle did not signal before making the right turn. (Tr. at 30) After observing the vehicle's failure to signal, Officer Porter relayed the information to the take-down crew. (Tr. at 11)
4. Officer John Dawdy was involved in the operation involving the residence under surveillance and the investigation of possible narcotics trafficking from that residence. (Tr. at 36) Officer Dawdy testified that he was contacted by Officer Porter who advised that the vehicle that had left the residence had failed to signal for a turn at an intersection. (Tr. at 37) Officer Dawdy stopped the vehicle. (Tr. at 37)
5. Officer Dawdy approached the vehicle and contacted the driver, Jermaine Gadson. (Tr. at 38) Officer Dawdy advised that he had stopped the vehicle because of a traffic violation, i.e. failure to signal for a turn. (Tr. at 38) Officer Dawdy does not recall defendant Gadson contesting the traffic violation. (Tr. at 38-39)
6. Defendant Gadson told Officer Dawdy that he had a couple of city warrants. (Tr. at 39) Officer Dawdy removed Gadson from the vehicle based on Gadson's statement. (Tr. at 39) Officer Dawdy conducted a computer check of Gadson which revealed several warrants for his arrest. (Tr. at 39) Gadson was placed under arrest. (Tr. at 40)
7. When Officer Dawdy had defendant Gadson step out of the vehicle, he detected an odor of marijuana. (Tr. at 39) The other three occupants of the vehicle were asked to exit the vehicle. (Tr. at 40) Computer checks were run on these three. (Tr. at 39) ...