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Adeniyi v. United States

United States District Court, D. Maryland

February 13, 2018

ADEOLA ADENIYI, Plaintiff
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM

          Ellen L. Hollander, United States District Judge

         In 2016, Adeola Adeniyi entered a plea of guilty, pursuant to a written plea agreement, to the charge of wire fraud conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. No. ELH-15-421, ECF 162, 163; see also ECF 231 (judgment, entered May 19, 2017). Adeniyi, who is self-represented, has now filed a self-styled "Motion for Turn Over of Passports, Computers and All My Personal Properties." No. ELH-18-238, ECF 1 (capitalization altered). Adeniyi, a Nigerian citizen, seeks the return of his Nigerian passports, [1] "electronics computers, Ipad, " and other unspecified personal property. ECF 1 at 1. He asserts that "The U.S. Attorney agreed to released [sic] [these items] during the plead [sic] bargain once he surrendered] to the Bureau of Prisons." Id. at 2.

         The government has responded in opposition to this Motion. ECF 2. It asserts that the computers and iPad were forfeited under the plea agreement's express terms, which also provide that no other agreements or promises will supersede the plea's agreements terms unless such agreements are in writing and signed by both parties. Id. at 1-2. The government notes that Adeniyi is subject to removal from the United States following completion of his 24 month term of imprisonment, and argues that the passports, which are in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), [2] should remain in ICE's custody "in preparation for his removal proceedings." ECF 2 at 2. Additionally, the Defendant states that no other property belonging to Adeniyi is in its custody. Id.

         The Defendant correctly summarizes the plea agreement, which states, in relevant part:

14. The Defendant agrees to forfeit all right, title and interest in the following property seized by law enforcement authorities from 1710 Edgewood Drive, Apartment #D, Parkville, Maryland on July 21, 2015, including the following property:
a. An HP laptop computer;
b. An Apple Macbook laptop computer;
c. 2 Apple iPhone cellular telephones; and
d. An Apple iPad tablet.

         Entire Agreement

22. This letter supersedes any prior understandings, promises, or conditions between this Office and the Defendant and, together with the Sealed Supplement, constitutes the complete plea agreement in this case, The Defendant acknowledges that there are no other agreements, promises, undertakings or understandings between the Defendant and this Office other than those set forth in this letter and the Sealed Supplement and none will be entered into unless in writing and signed by all parties.

Case ELH-15-421, ECF 163 at 5, 7. Adeniyi does not allege the existence of an additional agreement that is consistent with the terms of paragraph 22 of the plea agreement, and paragraph 14 of the plea agreement plainly states that Adeniyi agrees to forfeit his iPad and other electronic devices. Thus, the Court rejects Adeniyi's request for the return of such items.

         As to the issue of Adeniyi's passports, numerous courts have rejected requests for similarly situated defendants facing deportation following imprisonment, explaining:

The court is persuaded that the effectuation of [Defendant's] deportation following his term of imprisonment is a legitimate reason for the government to retain [Defendant's] passport and visa. See United States v. Vysniauskas, No. 10-CR-20717, 2016 WL 465492, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 8, 2016) ("In addition, the Court also concludes that Petitioner's identify [sic] documents (his passports, drivers license, and bank card) should not be returned to him because they will be needed to effect his deportation after the completion of Petitioner's sentence."); United States v. Beras, No. 99-CR-75, 2003 WL 21136727, at *2 (S.D.N.Y.May 15, 2003) ("[S]hould [movant] be subject to exclusion proceedings at the end of his prison term, his passport will be necessary at that time to properly effect his deportation. 'Any disposition regarding [movant's] passport must await the result of exclusion proceedings.' ") (alterations omitted) (quoting Esieke v. United States, No. CV-93-1367, 1993 WL 184153, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. May 19, 1993)); Berrum v. United States, No. 01-CM384, 2003 WL ...

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