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United States v. Giddins

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Northern Division

September 30, 2014


Page 482

For Master Giddins, Defendant: Gary W Christopher, LEAD ATTORNEY, Brendan A Hurson, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Baltimore, MD.

For USA, Plaintiff: A David Copperthite, LEAD ATTORNEY, Rod J Rosenstein, Office of the United States Attorney, Baltimore, MD.

Page 483


William D. Quarles, Jr., United States District Judge.

Master Giddins is charged with bank robbery and conspiracy to commit bank robbery. ECF No. 1. Pending are Giddins's motions: (1) to suppress custodial statements (ECF No. 14), and (2) to suppress historical cell site location data (ECF No. 20). A hearing was held on September 29, 2014. For the following reasons, Giddins's motions will be denied.

I. Background

A. Facts[1]

1. The Crimes and Arrest

On September 25, 2013, someone entered the M& T Bank at 329 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore City, Maryland wearing women's clothing and a black wig. ECF

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No. 19 at 1. That person handed the teller a note stating he had a bomb, and demanded money be placed into a black and white polka dot cosmetic bag he handed to the teller. Id. The teller placed cash and a GPS tracking device into the cosmetic bag and handed it back to the robber. Id. at 1-2. The robber fled the bank and discarded the tracking device. Id. at 2. Police recovered the tracking device on Baltimore Street. Id. Though it had been run over, police recovered wig fibers from the tracking device. Id. Czekiah Fludd, an unindicted coconspirator, was the getaway driver, and she drove Giddins's Ford Focus automobile from the scene. Id.

On September 26, 2013, Giddins lent his Ford Focus to Fludd and another female, Ashley Fitz, which they used to rob the 1st Mariner Bank at 4800 Painters Mill Road, Owing Mills, Maryland. Id. Before entering the bank, Fludd drove the Ford Focus to an Exxon station near the bank and obtained blank lottery tickets. Id. Fludd and/or Fitz wrote a note similar to the note used in the September 25 robbery on a ticket. Id. Fitz went into the bank wearing the black wig and using the black and white polka dot cosmetic bag that had been used in the September 25 robbery; she handed the bag to the teller with the note. Id. The teller gave cash to Fitz, who then ran from the bank. Id. A nearby construction worker saw Fitz and Fludd get into Giddins's Ford Focus. Id. They were also recorded on video at the Exxon station where Fludd obtained the blank lottery tickets. Id. Proceeds from the robbery were allegedly split between Fitz, Fludd, and Giddins. Id.

On September 27, 2013, Giddins again lent his automobile to Fitz and Fludd, and another female co-conspirator Alexis Chandler. Id. Fludd drove Fitz and Chandler to the Baltimore County Savings Bank, 515 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore County, Maryland. Id. Fitz and Chandler, wearing wigs, entered the bank, produced notes saying they had a bomb, and demanded money. Id. The tellers provided them with cash, and Fitz was given a dye pack. Id. at 2-3. Fitz and Chandler left the bank and got into the Ford Focus driven by Fludd. Id. at 3. The dye pack exploded, and Fitz threw the handbag with the exploded dye pack out the car window. Id. The wigs and some other items were also discarded. Id. Police stopped the car after receiving a broadcast description of the suspects and the silver Ford Focus. Id. Police recovered evidence from the car and the scene. Id.

Fitz and Chandler provided statements to investigators after being advised of their rights. Id. Fitz and Chandler admitted the robberies and their involvement. Id. All three banks were FDIC insured. Id. An arrest warrant was issued for Giddins. ECF No. 32 at 2.

2. Giddins's Statement

On October 4, 2013, Giddins went to Baltimore County police headquarters to obtain his car. ECF No. 19 at 3. Officers placed Giddins in an interrogation room. Id. Giddins asked Detective Morano, " Am I in trouble?" and Detective Morano replied, " No, you're here getting your car, right?" ECF No. 32 at 2; Interview Tr. at 3. Detective Morano left the room. ECF No. 32 at 2.

A few minutes later, Detective Taylor entered the interview room. Id.[2] Apparently believing he was going through the process to obtain his car, Giddins answered questions, including his name and nickname, address, employment, cellphone number, date of birth, height and weight,

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whether he wore glasses,[3] and social security number. ECF No. 19 at 3; Interview Tr. at 3-8.

At 10:28:15 (on the recorded video interview), Detective Taylor told Giddins that before the police could return his car, they had to explain his rights. ECF No. 32 at 3. Detective Taylor stated:

[O]bviously your car was used in a crime which sucks for you since it puts you in the middle of stuff . . . we are going to ask you some things about your car, but legally, since it is your car, before we speak to you about it we have to read you your rights, it doesn't mean you're under arrest, it doesn't mean you're being charged with anything. This is, we are asking you questions, by law we have to read you your rights.

ECF Nos. 33 at 3, 32 at 3; Interview Tr. at 8-9. Giddins read aloud from the Miranda waiver and stated that he understood his rights. Interview Tr. at 9. When asked if he had any questions, the following exchange occurred:

Det. Taylor: You don't have any questions about us asking about your car, do you?
Giddins: Yes. Is this the procedure for getting my car back? Cause I feel like . . . .
Taylor: Yeah, we do, but like I said, your car was used in crimes, that we need to dig in and find out what's going on with your, with these three girls, what your relationship with them is, how they came in contact with your car, all that stuff. Understand that?
Giddins: I understand that.
Taylor: OK. . . . Do you mind explaining all that stuff to us?
Giddins: I don't know any of that stuff.
Taylor: Well we don't know that until I ask you, right?
Giddins: Right, but I just told you. That's what I'm asking, like. Is this the procedure to get my car back?
Taylor: Yes, in order for us to ask you questions because the vehicle was used in a crime, by law we have to go over these rights.
Giddins: Right.
Taylor: If we start asking you stuff and you don't want to talk to us, then don't talk to us. But we're just trying to figure out some issues.
Giddins: But I still get my car?
Taylor: Before I release the car to you I would like to know some answers. I would like to know some answers ...

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