United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
T. Maughmer United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. #74) filed on February 16, 2018 by defendant
Christopher L. Corn (“Corn”). On April 18, 2018,
the undersigned held an evidentiary hearing on Corn's
motion to dismiss. Corn was present and represented by his
counsel, Mark Thomason. The government was represented by
Assistant United States Attorney Jeff McCarther. At the
evidentiary hearing, testimony was given by Officer Robert
Martin and Detective Frank Rorabaugh, both with the Kansas
City Missouri Police Department. Previously, the Court held
an evidentiary hearing on Corn's earlier filed
suppression motion. Inasmuch as the underlying facts found in
connection with that motion provide a helpful foundation to
understanding the context of the present motion to dismiss,
this order contains the 32 factual findings made by the Court
after the first evidentiary hearing (including citations to
the earlier February 9, 2017 hearing as “Tr.
(I)”) as well as the additional findings made for
purposes of the pending motion to dismiss (including
citations to the April 18, 2018 hearing as “Tr.
basis of all the evidence adduced at the evidentiary hearings
and the legal arguments advanced, the undersigned submits the
FINDINGS OF FACT
March 11, 2016, Justin Palmer was a police officer with the
Kansas City Missouri Police Department patrolling in an
undercover vehicle in the area of 84th Street and Paseo in
Kansas City, Missouri. Tr. (I) at 4-5, 21.
March 11, 2016, Robert Martin was also a police officer with
the Kansas City Missouri Police Department who was likewise
patrolling (in a marked police vehicle) in the area of 84th
Street and Paseo in Kansas City, Missouri. Tr. (I) at 36-37.
around noon on that date, Officer Palmer and his partner
(Officer Bobbie King) observed a black Ford pickup truck
being operated by an individual known to the officers to be a
narcotics offender and dealer in stolen property. Tr. (I) at
Based on the individual's prior criminal history and the
fact that he had an outstanding traffic warrant, the officers
decided to conduct surveillance on the individual. Tr. (I) at
Eventually, the officers observed the truck pull into the
parking lot for a McDonald's near 84th Street and
Wornall. Tr. (I) at 7, 26-27.
truck parked next to a white Ford Mustang. Tr. (I) at 8, 27.
Officer Palmer recognized the Mustang as a vehicle he had
previously observed at another known narcotics location. Tr.
(I) at 8.
officers then observed the two occupants of the Ford truck
exit the vehicle and go into the McDonalds. Tr. (I) at 8, 27.
Three to four minutes later, the officers observed five
people simultaneously exit the McDonalds (including the
occupants of the Ford truck) with two people getting in the
Ford truck and three people getting into the Mustang. Tr. (I)
None of the people exiting the McDonalds appeared to have any
food. Tr. (I) at 9.
Based on his experience, Officer Palmer believed a drug
transaction had occurred. Tr. (I) at 9.
the two vehicles were pulling out of the McDonalds parking
lot, Officer Palmer radioed Officer Martin (who was known to
Officer Palmer to be in the area) and told him that if he saw
the white Mustang, it “would be good to conduct a
traffic stop if possible.” Tr. (I) at 9-10, 27-28, 30,
Officer Palmer continued surveillance of the Ford truck. Tr.
(I) at 10, 28-29.
Officer Martin meanwhile began following the Mustang. Tr. (I)
After following the Mustang briefly, Officer Martin observed
the Mustang make a right turn into a driveway without
signaling. Tr. (I) at 41, 61-62.
After the Mustang pulled into the driveway, Officer Martin
parked his patrol car and approached the Mustang. Tr. (I) at
Officer Martin approached the vehicle, the driver (later
identified as Corn) was attempting to exit the Mustang. Tr.
(I) at 42-43.
Officer Martin asked Corn to remain in the vehicle and he
asked Corn for identification. Tr. (I) at 42-44.
Corn told Officer Martin that he did not have a driver's
license and gave Officer Martin a false name and initially
indicated that his date of birth was 1923 (which would ...