United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), all pretrial matters in this case
were referred to United States Magistrate Judge Noelle C.
Collins for determination and recommended disposition, where
appropriate. On September 12, 2016, Judge Collins issued a
Report and Recommendation with respect to the motions filed
by defendant Frankie M. Lewis to suppress evidence and
statements. The defendant filed timely objections to the
Report and Recommendation, and the United States has filed a
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the district court is required
to make a de novo determination of the specified
proposed findings and recommendations to which objection is
made. Here, the Court has reviewed the defendant's
motions and the transcript of the suppression hearing.
defendant does not dispute the factual findings made by the
magistrate judge. Indeed, the Court finds that they are
supported by the record. At issue here is the magistrate
judge's application of the law to the facts.
Specifically, the defendant argues that his arrest resulted
from statements that were obtained from him in violation of
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), and that
the warrantless search of his person was without probable
evidence establishes the police questioned the defendant
after he invoked his right to remain silent and requested an
attorney. The defendant contends that the statements
he made in response to the improper questioning gave the
police probable cause to arrest and search him. The Court
disagrees. On multiple occasions prior to the arrest on
December 8, 2011, law enforcement officers saw the defendant
driving a Cadillac Escalade that bore license plates that
were registered to a GMC Yukon owned by defendant. On the day
of the arrest, the officers learned that the Escalade had
been reported stolen. They acquired this information from
checking the VIN on the vehicle, not from any statement made
by the defendant. The connection between the defendant and
the Escalade was established before December 8, and the
discovery that the vehicle was stolen was made without any
information from the defendant. Thus, there was probable
cause for the defendant's arrest and its existence did
not rest on unlawfully-acquired evidence. See United
States v. Washington, 109 F.3d 459, 465 (8th Cir. 1997)
(probable cause exists when under the totality of
circumstances a prudent person would believe that the
defendant committed or was committing a crime).
Court also concludes that under the inevitable discovery
doctrine, the search of the defendant did not violate the
Fourth Amendment, even if it occurred before there was
probable cause for his arrest. Based on the officers'
independent discovery that the Escalade was stolen, there was
a reasonable probability that the defendant would be arrested
and searched incident to the arrest. See United States v.
Glenn, 152 F.3d 1047, 1049 (8th Cir. 1998) (no
suppression required when gun found in defendant's pocket
during an unjustified search would have been discovered
incident to arresting defendant for driving without a
license). Additionally, when they encountered the defendant
on December 8, law enforcement officers were executing a
search warrant on a business that was under investigation for
issuing fraudulent vehicle emissions test certificates. Prior
to that date, officers had observed the defendant enter the
business and engage in conduct that was consistent with the
fraudulent activities they were investigating. Thus, there
was a reasonable probability that the evidence seized from
the defendant would have been discovered by lawful means and,
at the time of the search of the defendant, the law
enforcement officers were pursuing a substantial alternative
line of investigation. See United States v. Thomas,
524 F.3d 855, 858 (8th Cir. 2008)(evidence found during an
improper search “need not be suppressed if the two
prongs of the inevitable discovery doctrine are proved by a
preponderance of the evidence: (1) there is a reasonable
probability the evidence would have been discovered by lawful
means in the absence of police misconduct, and (2) the
government was actively pursuing a substantial, alternative
line of investigation at the time of the constitutional
reasons set forth above, the defendant's objections to
the Report and Recommendation are overruled.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Order and Recommendation of
United States Magistrate Judge Noelle C. Collins is
sustained, adopted, and incorporated herein [Doc. # 88].
FURTHER ORDERED that the motion of defendant Frankie M. Lewis
to suppress evidence [Doc. #74] is denied.
FURTHER ORDERED that the defendant's motion to suppress
statements [Doc. # 75] is granted with respect to all
statements he made after invoking his rights to remain silent
and to counsel, and is denied in all other respects.
 The government states that it will not
offer into evidence at trial any statement made by the
defendant after he ...