United States District Court, D. Colorado
Garrison, also known as " G", Defendant, Pro se.
Ricky Garrison, also known as " G", Defendant:
Mitchell Baker, LEAD ATTORNEY, Mitch Baker, Attorney at Law,
Denver, CO; James A. Castle, Castle & Castle, PC, Denver, CO.
James Tillmon, also known as Black also known as Kevin
Garner, Defendant: Clifford J. Barnard, LEAD ATTORNEY,
Clifford J. Barnard, Attorney at Law, Boulder, CO.
Christopher Martinez, also known as Little C, Defendant: Lisa
Fine Moses, LEAD ATTORNEY, LFM Defense, Greenwood Village,
Francisco Aguilar, Defendant: Leslee Anne Barnicle, LEAD
ATTORNEY, Osage Law Offices, The, Denver, CO.
Simeon Ramirez, Defendant: Lisa Monet Wayne, LEAD ATTORNEY,
Lisa M. Wayne, Law Office of, Denver, CO.
Christopher Vigil, Defendant: Andres Rene Guevara, LEAD
ATTORNEY, Andres R. Guevara, Law Office of, Greenwood
Archie Poole, Defendant: Ronald John Hahn, LEAD ATTORNEY,
Ronald Hahn, Law Offices of, Englewood, CO.
Luis Ramirez, also known as Julian, Defendant: Adam Michael
Tucker, LEAD ATTORNEY, Adam Tucker, P.C., The Law Office of,
Melvin Turner, also known as Mellow, Defendant: Robert Seldis
Berger, LEAD ATTORNEY, Robert S. Berger, Attorney at Law,
Sidney Taylor, Defendant: John Edward Mosby, LEAD ATTORNEY,
John Mosby, Attorney at Law, Denver, CO.
Gregory Williams, Defendant: Peter D. Menges, LEAD ATTORNEY,
Peter D. Menges, P.C.,The Law Office of, Denver, CO.
Robert Painter, Defendant: Patrick J. Burke, LEAD ATTORNEY,
Patrick J. Burke, P.C., Denver, CO.
Latoya Wimbush, Defendant: Thomas Richard Ward, LEAD
ATTORNEY, Ward Law Firm, P.C. The, Denver, CO.
USA, Plaintiff: Zachary Hugh Phillips, LEAD ATTORNEY, Wayne
Campbell, U.S. Attorney's Office-Denver, Denver, CO.
ON PENDING MOTIONS
J. Martinez, Judge.
the Court are seven motions seeking discovery from the
Government and two motions attacking the indictment. For the
reasons explained below, the Court denies all of the
discovery motions (either as moot, premature, or
insufficiently supported). The Court reserves ruling on the
motions attacking the indictment in light of its Order on
Procedures. ( See ECF No. 99 ¶ 8(a).)
sixteen-defendant case principally involves what the
Government alleges to be a large conspiracy to distribute
cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. ( See ECF No.
10.) The Government used a number of Title III wiretaps while
investigating the alleged conspiracy. According to Defendant
Garrison, the Government obtained these wiretaps by
representing that they would be used to investigate "
large-scale drug distribution and/or the Gangster Disciples
street gang." (ECF No. 611 at 2.)
MOTION FOR SPECIFIC DISCOVERY (ECF No. 611)
60-page Motion for Specific Discovery is extensive and
reminiscent of the wide-ranging, often questionably relevant
requests for production typically seen in civil litigation.
His requests may be summarized as follows:
o essentially all information the Government has developed
regarding the Gangster Disciples since January 2012,
including information developed for other prosecutions and
information about confidential informants (ECF No. 611 at
o information in the Government's possession about the
Aurora Police Department's investigation of a homicide
(allegedly linked to Garrison) of a confidential informant (
id. at 35-38);
o all information obtained by the Government regarding "
Operation Red Dawn," a local law enforcement
investigation that apparently partially overlapped with the
Government's investigation of the Gangster Disciples (
id. at 38-41);
o documents generated with respect to the Government's
various confidential informants used in the Gangster
Disciples investigation ( id. at 39-48);
o information regarding whether investigating agencies
employed " parallel construction," an alleged
tactic by which law enforcement agencies prepare two files
for each investigation, one that tells the entire story of
the investigation, and another that has been "
sanitized" of sensitive information ( id. at
o the results of any analysis performed on raw data (
i.e., phone numbers) obtained through pen registers,
trap and trace devices, or administrative subpoena of phone
records ( id. at 51-54);
o all information regarding any member of the Gangster
Disciples, and regarding any individual named in a wiretap
application whose communications would be intercepted,
contained in any database on which the Government relied, and
all analyses of information gleaned from these databases (
id. at 54-60).
seeks this information in hopes of gathering more evidence to
support an anticipated " motion to suppress [the]
evidence obtained pursuant to the Title III
interceptions." (ECF No. 611.)
III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968
governs electronic eavesdropping by law enforcement
officials. See 18 U.S.C. § § 2510-22.
Given the extraordinary danger that wiretaps pose to Fourth
Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and
seizures, wiretaps are not to be routinely employed in
criminal investigations. United States v. Giordano,
416 U.S. 505, 515, 94 S.Ct. 1820, 40 L.Ed.2d 341 (1974).
Indeed, to obtain a wiretap warrant, the Government must
first satisfy a court that numerous prerequisites have been
met, most of which go beyond what would be necessary to
establish traditional probable cause for a search warrant.
See generally 18 U.S.C. § 2518.
each category of information that Garrison requests, he
argues that it would assist him to establish the
Government's alleged failure to satisfy various Title III
prerequisites, thus supporting a motion to suppress. However,
although numerous cases discuss a court's obligations
when a defendant moves to suppress on these grounds, Garrison
does not cite--and this Court could not find--any case
regarding whether a defendant is entitled to discovery to
assist him or her in developing such a motion. This is all
the more telling given that Garrison's motion contains a
20-page " Law" section describing (in the abstract)
various legal grounds for discovery and suppression, yet none
of Garrison's cited authorities mention discovery for
purposes of preparing a Title III challenge. Moreover, in the
ensuing 31 pages of specific requests and explanations for
those requests, the Court counts a total of nine citations to
legal authority--and again, none relates to discovery for
purposes of preparing a Title III challenge.
does not necessarily mean that a defendant may never obtain
such discovery. Nonetheless, " [t]here is no general
constitutional right to discovery in a criminal case."
Weatherford v. Bursey, 429 U.S. 545, 559, 97 S.Ct.
837, 51 L.Ed.2d 30 (1977). The Government's pretrial
discovery obligations instead rest largely on four
authorities: (1) Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83
S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), which holds that due
process requires prosecutors to disclose to defendants
potentially exculpatory evidence; (2) Giglio v. United
States, 405 U.S. 150, 92 S.Ct. 763, 31 L.Ed.2d 104
(1972), which holds that exculpatory evidence includes
evidence affecting witness credibility if the witness's
reliability will likely determine guilt or innocence; (3)
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16, which establishes a
number of specific discovery obligations; and (4) the
Court's inherent authority to order discovery in certain
circumstances. Each will be discussed in turn.
Brady and Giglio
extent Garrison claims that the information he requests must
be disclosed under Brady or Giglio, the
Government affirms that it is aware of its obligations under
those cases, that it has already supplied the relevant
information in its possession, and that it " will
continue to provide the materials required by these cases and
subsequent decisions." (ECF No. 678 at 1-2.) The Court
has no reason to doubt this assertion.
nonetheless appears to be arguing that much of what he now
requests somehow falls under Brady or
Giglio and should be disclosed. For example,
Garrison argues at least three times, without citation to
authority, that certain information " must be provided
because it is favorable to the defense." (ECF No. 611 at
31, 40, 44-45.) Assuming Garrison intends this as a reference
to Brady or Giglio, his argument fails. In
all three instances, Garrison requests information that, if
it exists, might be " favorable" to his planned
wiretap challenge, depending on what the information actually
reveals. But Brady and Giglio do not
address all forms of information that might be helpful to a
wiretap challenge. Rather, those cases focus on information
favorable to the accused with respect either to guilt or
broadly, Garrison also asks this Court to hold that
Brady requires disclosure of all information that
might simply be helpful to him in any strategy he might
pursue. (ECF No. 611 at 9.) Out of respect for the rule of
law and the goal of fair adjudication, out of respect for the
dignity of the defendant, and recognizing the typical
asymmetry of information between the Government and the
defendant, the Court strongly encourages the Government to
adopt this approach. To a small extent, the United States
Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado has
already done so. ( Seeid. at 27-28
(quoting the USAO-CO's office policies manual regarding
criminal discovery).) But ...