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United States v. Lyles

United States District Court, D. Maryland

November 20, 2017




         Pending before the Court is Defendant Tyrone Ignaciou Lyles's Motion to Suppress Tangible and Derivative Evidence, in which Lyles seeks suppression of marijuana, firearms, and other evidence seized from his home pursuant to a search warrant on January 8, 2015. After briefing, the Court held a hearing on July 13, 2017, requested supplemental briefing, then held a second hearing on November 16, 2017. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED.


         On January 7, 2015, Detective Brian McCloskey of the Prince Georgess County Police Department ("PGCPD") submitted an Application and Affidavit for Search and Seizure Warrant to a judge of the Circuit Court for Prince Georgess County, Maryland. Detective McCloskey sought to search Lyles's residence, located in Fort Washington, Maryland, for marijuana, firearms, and other evidence of drug distribution. In his affidavit, Detective McCloskey first stated that during January 2015, members of the PGCPD became "aware of possible connections between [Lyles's] residence, its occupants, and unlawful activities." Search Warrant Affidavit ("Aff.") 4, Gov't Opp'n Mot. Suppress Ex. A, ECF No. 21-21. The affidavit provided no details about the nature of that information. Detective McCloskey then described the results of a trash pull conducted on January 5, 2015.[1] He stated that he and another officer had observed four large green plastic bags abandoned at the curb outside Lyles's residence. The officers removed the bags, inspected their contents, and found three plant stems which later tested positive for marijuana, three empty packs of rolling papers, and one document addressed to Lyles's residence. Detective McCloskey stated that based on his knowledge, training, and experience, he was aware that users and distributors of marijuana are likely to store their marijuana in secured locations such as in a residence, and that they often dispose of packaging materials, stems, seeds, and paraphernalia in the trash outside locations where the marijuana is stored. Based on the investigation and the trash pull, as well his "knowledge, training, and experience, " he believed that marijuana and handguns were being "stored, used, and/or sold" at Lyles's residence. Id. The affidavit provided no explanation for the conclusion that handguns were present inside the residence. Detective McCloskey then requested authorization to search for and seize 13 different categories of evidence, including:

1. Marijuana and any and all controlled dangerous substances ... and such paraphernalia that is used in the administration, preparation, and distribution or in conjunction with said illegal activities;
2. Any books, records, and documents relating to the acquisition, possession, or distribution of said controlled dangerous substances;
3. Any and all safes, locked boxes and receptacles that could contain any other items described in this warrant and ... all contents which pertain to the said illegal activities;
4. [A]ll non-commercially produced video recordings, digital video discs, and any other analog or digital media;
5. Any electronic equipment, such as computers, external hard drives, facsimile machines, digital pagers, cellular telephones, answering machines, surveillance equipment, and related manuals used to generate, record, and/or store the information described in this exhibit, and the contents therein ... and computer software, tapes and discs, audio and video tapes and/or discs, and the content therein ... used in the aforementioned violations relating to the transportation, distribution, ordering, and purchasing of controlled dangerous substances.
6. Any and all appointment books, diaries, calendars, financial records, work schedules, computer records, or other documents that detail the aforementioned violations or individuals involved in the aforementioned violations;
7. Any and all financial documents that are related to the placement of monies used in the aforementioned violations;
8. Currency, precious metals, jewelry, and financial instruments, including stocks and bonds; and
9. Firearms, including but not limited to: handguns, pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, and any and all other ...

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