United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Defendant's pretrial
motions. All pretrial motions were referred to United States
Magistrate Judge David D. Noce under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).
Defendant Curstan Stiff made an oral motion to suppress at
the time of his arraignment (Doc. No. 15), and also filed a
motion to suppress physical evidence (Doc. No. 31). The
United States made an oral motion for a determination of the
admissibility of any arguably suppressible evidence (Doc. No.
16 - oral).
written motion to suppress physical evidence, Defendant
argued that the anticipatory search warrant issued by the
Magistrate Judge was unlawfully executed; that the
investigators lacked reasonable suspicion to stop
Defendant's vehicle; that the use of a canine to conduct
a dog sniff, which provided probable cause to search the
vehicle, was impermissible because the initial stop was
unlawful; that the investigatory stop constituted an unlawful
seizure because the investigators unreasonably prolonged the
stop; and that the search and seizure of Defendant's cell
phone was unlawful. The United States responded to the
motion, opposing each of Defendant's arguments. With
respect to the cell phone that was seized, however, the
government has asserted that it has not been searched, and
that no warrant to search the phone will be requested because
it is believed that without the password, the device cannot
be searched. As such the government requests that the motion
to suppress evidence from the cell phone be denied as moot.
(Doc. No. 38.) The case is set for trial on April 1, 2019.
Noce conducted an evidentiary hearing on September 5, 2018. A
transcript of the hearing was prepared, and the parties filed
post-hearing memoranda. On December 10, 2108, Judge Noce
issued an Order and Recommendation (“R&R”),
recommending that Defendant's motions to suppress
physical evidence be denied, but that any statements in
response to interrogation should be suppressed. (Doc. No.
52.) Defendant filed a general objection, objecting to the
findings of the Magistrate Judge “for all of the
reasons set forth in the underlying motions, and the evidence
adduced at the evidentiary hearing in this matter, ”
without any further specification or basis. (Doc. No. 54.)
The United States did not object to the recommendation that
any statements made in response to interrogation be
party objects to a Report and Recommendation concerning a
motion to suppress in a criminal case, the court is required
to “make a de novo review determination of those
portions of the record or specified proposed findings to
which objection is made.” United States v.
Lothridge, 324 F.3d 599, 600 (8th Cir. 2003) (quoting 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)).
Court conducted a de novo review of the motion to
suppress, including a review of the testimony and evidence at
the hearing and a review of the parties' memoranda. Based
on that review, the undersigned concludes that the Magistrate
Judge made proper factual findings and correctly analyzed the
issues. For the reasons set forth more fully in the R&R,
the Court finds that the anticipatory search warrant was
properly issued and executed at the residence. In this
regard, the Court notes that the triggering event had
occurred, which provided probable cause to search the
residence not only for the package, but also for the other
items identified on the List. The Court also finds that the
inspector conducted a valid investigatory stop of the
Defendant's Suburban vehicle, based on reasonable
suspicion. Further, the inspector had reasonable grounds to
conduct a pat down, and was justified in seizing the currency
and torn piece of the mailing label found during the pat
down. Finally, the Court finds that the investigatory stop of
the Suburban was not unduly prolonged for the canine sniff,
and that the officers had probable cause to search the
vehicle. Thus, after careful consideration, the Court will
overrule Defendant's objections, and will adopt and
sustain the factual findings and the thorough reasoning of
Magistrate Judge Noce set forth in support of his recommended
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Order and
Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge [Doc. No.
52] is SUSTAINED, ADOPTED, AND INCORPORATED
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant's Motion to
Suppress Physical Evidence [Doc. Nos. 15 and 31] is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the oral motion of the
United States for a determination of the admissibility of any
arguably suppressible evidence [Doc. No. 16] is
DENIED as moot UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 18th day of March, 2019.
 The Court agrees that any motion to
suppress evidence from the cell phone should be denied ...