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United States v. Thompson

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

June 11, 2018

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Tyreese Thompson, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          John T. Maughmer United States Magistrate Judge

         Pending before the Court is the Motion to Suppress Illegally Obtained Evidence (Doc. #42) filed on March 16, 2018, by defendant Tyreese Thompson (“Thompson”). On May 15, 2018, the undersigned held an evidentiary on Thompson's motion to suppress. Thompson was present and represented by his counsel, Federal Public Defender Robert Kuchar. The government was represented by Assistant United States Attorney David Raskin. At the evidentiary hearing, oral testimony was given by Detective Justin Crump and Officer Brandon Winders, both with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, and by Special Agent Charles Backer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Additionally, the following exhibits were admitted into evidence:

Number
Description
Gov't. #1
Map
Gov't. #2
Consent video
Gov't. #3
Arrest warrant
Gov't. #4
Consent form
Gov't #5
Miranda waiver
On the basis of all the evidence adduced at the evidentiary hearing and the legal arguments advanced, the undersigned submits the following:

         PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT

         1. Justin Crump is currently a detective-in-training with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department (“KCMPD”) who, prior to 2018, had been a tactical operator on KCMPD's Street Crimes Tactical Squad. Tr. at 3.

         2. KCMPD's Street Crimes Tactical Squad is responsible for executing narcotics and high-risk search and arrest warrants. Tr. at 4.

         3. In 2016, Det. Crump was a “point man” for KCMPD's Street Crimes Tactical Squad. Tr. at 5.

         4. A point man is generally the first officer to enter through the door of a residence when a warrant is being executed and thereafter deploys officers conducting any search. Tr. at 5.

         5. Brandon Winders is also a tactical operator on KCMPD's Street Crimes Tactical Squad. Tr. at 41.

         6. Charles Backer is a Senior Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”). Tr. at 60.

         7. Agent Backer is assigned to the Illegal Firearms Squad - a task force between KCMPD and ATF to work cooperatively on violent crimes that involve firearms. Tr. at 60.

         8. In 2016, the Illegal Firearms Squad was investigating a pawn shop burglary in St. Joseph, Missouri, in which several firearms were stolen. Tr. at 61, 63.

         9. In the course of the investigation of the pawn shop burglary, the Illegal Firearms Squad identified a suspect by the name of Tyreese Thompson, who was also the subject of a pending felony arrest warrant for robbery. Tr. 6110. The Illegal Firearms Squad received information from a confidential informant that Thompson could be found at a residential address in Kansas City, Missouri - 3707 East 72nd Street. Tr. at 61.

         11. On March 8, 2016, Agent Backer traveled to 3707 East 72nd Street with several members of the Illegal Firearms Squad and also requested a team from KCMPD's Street Crimes Tactical Squad. Tr. at 64.

         12. After arriving at the address, Agent Backer and other officers surveilled the residence and observed an unidentified black male come out the front door of the house, retrieve mail from the mailbox, and reenter the house. Tr. at 64-65.

         13. Because there was an unknown man in the house, Agent Backer and the other officers at the scene decided to have the tactical squad approach the residence to see if the man in the house was Thompson. Tr. at 65.

         14. On March 8, 2016, Det. Crumb was the point man for KCMPD's Street Crimes Tactical Squad for the operation to detain and arrest Thompson at 3707 East 72nd Street. Tr. at 5-6, 21-22.

         15. Det. Crumb and the tactical squad arrived mid to late morning. Tr. at 6, 24.

         16. Det. Crumb and the tactical squad were briefed that Thompson was wanted for a burglary, the officers at the scene believed the house belonged to Thompson's girlfriend, the officers at the scene had seen a male (who could not be identified as Thompson) come out on to the front porch before going back into the residence, and it was believed that Thompson was inside the residence. Tr. at 8-9, 22, 25-27.

         17. Det. Crumb and the tactical squad were shown photographs of Thompson. Tr. at 8-9.

         18. The residence at 3707 East 72nd Street was a small bungalow-styled house with a medium-sized front porch. Tr. at 6-7.

         19. At approximately 12:25 p.m., Det. Crumb and the tactical squad proceeded to perform a residence check at 3707 East 72nd Street. Tr. at 9, 22.

         20. As per the usual procedures, 6-8 tactical officers (including Det. Crumb) approached the front door at 3707 East 72nd Street. Tr. at 10, 27.

         21. As he was approaching the house, Det. Crumb saw the blinds on one of the front windows to the house move in a manner that suggested someone was looking through the blinds. Tr. at 10-11, 28.

         22. Det. Crumb proceeded to the front door and knocked while loudly announcing “Police.” Tr. at 11.

         23. After knocking, Det. Crumb could hear movement in the house. Tr. at 28-29.

         24. While waiting for a response, another tactical officer on the porch told Det. Crumb that he had just seen the shades move on one of the front windows. Tr. at 11-12.

         25. After six to eight minutes (and 15-20 knocks on the front door), a man (later identified as George Richards) answered the door. Tr. at 11-13, 30.

         26. Due to the amount of time that it took someone to answer the door and based on his experience in executing warrants, Det. Crumb suspected that efforts had been made inside the house to hide either evidence or individuals. Tr. at 13.

         27. Mr. Richards opened the door and had a dog beside him. Tr. at 14, 30.

         28. Because the dog was acting “aggressively” toward Det. Crumb, Mr. Richards was asked to detain the dog. Tr. at 14, 30.

         29. Mr. Richards dragged the dog by its collar to a kennel in a nearby room, leaving the front door open. Tr. at 14.

         30. While waiting for Mr. Richards to secure the dog, Det. Crumb saw an individual he believed to be Thompson lean out from a behind a corner. Tr. at 14, 31-32.

         31. Det. Crumb ordered Thompson to show his hands. Tr. at 14, 32.

         32. Thomson initially ignored the command and retreated behind the wall he had been looking around, but - after Det. Crumb called him by name and told him “It's over” - Thompson reappeared from behind the wall. Tr. at 14-15, 32-33.

         33. Det. Crumb asked Thompson to come out of the house, which he did. Tr. at 15.

         34. Det. Crumb noted that Thompson had dust/spider webs on his right arm, the right side of his white t-shirt, the right side of his neck, and the back of his head and hair. Tr. at 16-17, 66.

         35. After Thompson was off the porch and being detained by other officers, Det. Crumb asked Mr. Richards (who had returned from securing the dog) whether there was anyone else in the house to which Mr. Richards responded “Nobody else that I know of.” Tr. at 18.

         36. Based on his experience in executing warrants, Det. Crumb believed Mr. Richard's equivocal response was suspicious. Tr. at 18-19.

         37. Based on officer safety concerns, Det. Crumb decided to conduct a protective sweep of the house to see if anyone else was in the residence, limiting the sweep to only those areas that were large enough to permit a person to hide. Tr. at 18-20, 43.

         38. Neither Mr. Richards nor Thompson objected when Det. Crumb announced that the tactical squad was going to perform a ...


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