United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. Epps, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is defendant Leonard Jerome Wilson's
Motion to Suppress Evidence. (Doc. 29). The Government has
filed suggestions in opposition. (Doc. 32). No. reply brief
was filed. The motion is now ripe for consideration. For the
reasons that follow, it is recommended that defendant's
motion be denied.
14, 2017, Sergeant Chad Bailey of the Camden County Sheriffs
Office (CCSO) interviewed a juvenile female (DOB: 09/07/2000)
who stated that Mr. Wilson engaged in sexual misconduct with
her while on duty as a CCSO deputy. (Doc. 32). The juvenile
female further reported that Mr. Wilson became friends with
her on social media applications, and sent her a
“selfie” taken with a cellular phone depicting
the defendant unclothed from the waist up. Id.
Sergeant Bailey then met with Investigators Randall Ragar and
John Pehle of the State Technical Assistance Team (STAT) to
inform them of the CCSO internal investigation regarding Mr.
Wilson's behavior. Id.
17, 2017, CCSO officers interviewed Mr. Wilson who stated
that his cell phone was located at his residence with his
wife, Maggie Wilson. Id. The same day, Investigators
Ragar and Pehle accompanied CCSO deputies to Mr. Wilson's
residence to retrieve CCSO-issued items and locate electronic
devices involved with his alleged sexual misconduct.
Id. Mrs. Wilson gave officers consent to enter the
Wilson home, and directed law enforcement officers to the
various locations of CCSO-issued items, including a black
patrol bag in the couple's shared bedroom closet.
Id. Pursuant to Mrs. Wilson's permission,
officers confiscated the CCSO issued items and a Samsung
tablet from the residence. Id. Detective Jeremiah
Burnett searched the confiscated CCSO items in order to
re-distribute the property to other officers within the
department. Id. While searching, Detective Burnett
located and seized an HTC cellular phone and SIM card mixed
in among the items in the black patrol bag. Id. On
July 20, 2017, Investigator Pehle applied for and received a
Cole County warrant to search the HTC cell phone which
revealed images of child pornography and erotica.
fruits of the search lead to a two-count indictment in which
Mr. Wilson is charged with one count of Receiving or
Distributing Child Pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 2252(a)(2), and one count of Possession of Child
Pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B).
(Doc. 1). Mr. Wilson now moves the Court for an order
suppressing the child pornography found during the execution
of the warrant on the HTC cell phone. (Doc. 29).
Court held an evidentiary hearing regarding the motion to
suppress on January 7, 2019. (Doc. 33). Mr. Wilson was
represented by Attorney Shane L. Farrow. The Government was
represented by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley
Turner. The Government called Investigator Randall Ragar and
Detective Jeremiah Burnett as witnesses. The defense called
no witnesses to testify.
Findings of Fact
basis of the evidence presented at the evidentiary hearings,
the undersigned submits the following proposed findings of
or about July 2017, Mr. Wilson worked for the CCSO as a
patrol deputy and had been employed in that capacity for
approximately six months. (Tr. at 4:17-22, January 7, 2019).
Investigator Randall Ragar has been employed by STAT for
approximately three years, and is tasked with assisting law
enforcement agencies with crimes against children. (Tr.
15:10-20, January 7, 2019).
Investigator Ragar met with CCSO's Sergeant Bailey and
Lieutenant Joe Botta on July 17, 2019, and learned about an
internal investigation concerning Mr. Wilson's alleged
involvement with a juvenile female in Camden County. (Tr.
16:18-25; 17:1-7, January 7, 2019).
the meeting, Sergeant Bailey detailed the information
compiled in the CCSO's internal investigation, which
a. An interview with the juvenile female on January 14, 2017
where she stated she encountered Mr. Wilson after riding in a
vehicle that was involved in a pursuit. (Tr. 17:8-12; 24:2-6,
January 7, 2019). Mr. Wilson responded to the scene as a CCSO
deputy, instructed the juvenile to enter his patrol vehicle,
and drove her to a remote location where he caressed her
thigh and attempted to kiss her multiple times. (Tr.
17:15-17, January 7, 2019). Mr. Wilson returned the juvenile
female back to the ...