United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
PATRICIA L. COHEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Government charged Defendant with a violation of 18 U.S.C. Â§
1951(a) (Count I) and 18 U.S.C. Â§ 924 (c)(1)(A) (Count II).
Defendant moves to suppress physical evidence on the grounds
that it was seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution. More specifically, Defendant argues
that the affidavit filed in support of the search warrant
failed to establish a sufficient nexus between the evidence
sought and the place to be searched. Defendant also moves to
dismiss Count II, arguing that a Hobbs Act robbery does not
qualify as a crime of violence as defined in Section 924(c).
March 19, 2018, at approximately 12:40 p.m., four individuals
entered Vincent's Jewelers in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
Surveillance video from the store shows three were armed with
guns and the fourth had a lead pipe. All four wore masks,
blue gloves, and dark clothes. One individual herded
employees to the back of the store at gun point while the
other three broke into display cases. They smashed several
cases with the pipe and fired a gun through the glass of one
case. As the group exited the store one individual vaulted
over the top of a jewelry case and shot himself in the hand.
As he fled the store, he left behind a trail of blood. Based
in part on a height scale at the entrance to the store,
police officers estimated that the individual who shot
himself was over six feet tall and very heavy set. The four
individuals spent under one minute in Vincent Jewelers and
took over $180, 000 in watches and jewelry.
four individuals departed in a black 2004 Dodge Ram pickup
truck reported stolen earlier that day. A black sedan,
believed to be a look-out, followed the fleeing Dodge Ram.
The next day, March 20, investigators recovered the stolen
Dodge Ram in parking lot in Maryland Heights, MO. Inside the
Dodge Ram there were watch holders and blood drops on the
passenger side floor and door of the vehicle.
officers spoke with a witness who stated that between 2:30
and 3:00 p.m. she observed two black males in dark clothes
arguing loudly in the parking lot where the Dodge Ram was
found. The witness saw one individual shut the door of the
Dodge Ram then enter the black sedan while the other man got
in a white SUV. They drove off leaving the Dodge Ram.
officers collected samples of blood left at the scene and
submitted those samples to the St. Louis County Police
Department Crime Laboratory for analysis. The laboratory
developed a DNA profile from the blood and compared it to
profiles in the Combined DNA Index System
(“CODIS”). The DNA profile matched Defendant.
criminal record identified him as 6'4” and 250-275
pounds, consistent with the description of the individual who
vaulted the jewelry case. A record check revealed a white
2003 Cadillac Escalade SUV registered in Defendant's name
at 1302 Dominica Drive. Officers identified Stephanie
Shanklin as the utility account holder for 1302 Dominica
Drive. A previous police report described Ms. Shanklin as
Defendant's girlfriend and/or the mother of his children.
March 29, investigators established video-surveillance of
1302 Dominica Drive and observed the Escalade registered to
Defendant in the driveway. A male matching Defendant's
description exited the house, entered the Escalade, and drove
away. Later that day, officers conducted physical
surveillance at 1302 Dominica Drive and saw three males leave
the residence and enter a white GMC Terrain. One individual
matched the description of Defendant and a second fit the
description of another Vincent Jeweler's suspect.
Investigators attempted to identify the individuals, but they
began performing what appeared to be counter-surveillance
--driving in circles around the neighborhood and passing by
and attempting to look inside the investigators' vehicle.
After briefly following the GMC Terrain, the investigators
terminated their surveillance.
March 30, ATF Special Agent Vincent Liberto applied for a
search warrant for 1302 Dominica Drive seeking, among other
things, “firearms, ammunition…, proceeds from a
robbery, blood evidence…, [and] documentation of
residency.” The affidavit submitted in support of the
search warrant contained detailed information from the
Vincent Jeweler's surveillance video and the ensuing
affidavit, Agent Liberto stated that, based on DNA evidence
and a known physical description, Defendant was the
individual who shot himself during the Vincent Jeweler's
incident. The affidavit established that investigators
observed an individual matching Defendant's description
at 1302 Dominica Drive on three occasions. Agent Liberto also
averred that Defendant's Escalade was located at 1302
Dominica Drive. The undersigned judge signed the search
executed the search warrant on April 4. Officers seized a
jewelry scale, jewelry, watches, U.S. currency, ammunition,
Defendant's driver's license, and a box of blue
gloves. Officers arrested Defendant who was present and
appeared to have a bullet wound in his right hand.