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United States v. Jean-Pierre

United States District Court, D. Colorado

September 4, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
1. GUY M. JEAN-PIERRE, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO SUPPRESS

          William J. Martinez United States District Judge

         The Government charges Defendant with conspiracy to defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. § 371), securities fraud (15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b) & 78ff), wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341), and money laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(3)(B)). (See ECF No. 113.) Before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Suppress Evidence Obtained from Search of HP Laptop. (ECF No. 91.) Defendant does not request a hearing, and the Court finds that a hearing would be unnecessary in any event. The motion, the Government's response brief (ECF No. 104), and the various attachments reveal no material factual disputes and confirm that the dispute may be resolved as a matter of law. See, e.g., United States v. Chavez-Marquez, 66 F.3d 259, 261 (10th Cir. 1995) (hearing not required unless defendant carries burden of establishing disputed issues of material fact). For the reasons explained below, the Court denies the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Government began investigating Defendant and his associates in December 2013. (ECF No. 104-2 at 3, ¶ 2.) As to Defendant specifically, the Government suspected him of falsifying documents that his associates needed to convert restricted stock into free-trading stock on the over-the-counter (“OTC”) market. (Id. at 7, ¶ 8.)

         Police officers in Miami, Florida, arrested Defendant on April 29, 2016. (See id. at 26-30, ¶¶ 43, 45, 52.) At the time of his arrest, Defendant was carrying a backpack containing a laptop computer. (Id. ¶ 52.) Federal agents soon applied for and obtained a warrant from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida to search the laptop. The warrant's “Description Of Items To Be Searched And Seized, ” also known as “Attachment B, ” begins as follows:

The following items and information related to the scheme and activities that are described and are the subject of the affidavit in support of this warrant (which affidavit is incorporated by reference herein), which items constitute evidence and/or instrumentalities of violations of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 371 [conspiracy to defraud the United States], 1341 [mail fraud], 1343 [wire fraud], 1956 [money laundering], 1957 [knowingly transacting with money derived from unlawful activity] and 2 [the general conspiracy statute], and the following items relating to the electronic storage, access and retrieval of such items . . . .

(ECF No. 91-2 at 4.) There follows twenty paragraphs of varying specificity regarding items to be seized. Some of these paragraphs describe very specific categories with an obvious relation to the case, such as “written submissions to OTC [m]arkets.” (Id. at 5.) Other paragraphs describe relatively generic categories, such as:

Bank records, including bank statements . . .;
All computer files that act as “address books” or other list[s] of correspondence and contacts; Records and information related to foreign and domestic travel.
Records of Internet activity . . . .

(Id.)

         The Government represents that, upon receiving the signed search warrant, it transported the laptop to Colorado and delivered it and a copy of the warrant “to a forensic computer examiner at the Rock[y] Mountain Regional Forensics Laboratory.” (ECF No. 104 at 4.) Guided only by the warrant, the examiner forensically searched the computer “and copied computer files which only came within the scope of Attachment B and provided those files to FBI agents working on the case.” (Id.) On the record before the Court, it is not clear what these computer files revealed.

         II. BURDEN OF PROOF

         “Generally, if the search or seizure was pursuant to a warrant, the defendant has the burden of [proving that the search violated the Fourth Amendment].” United States v. Carhee, 27 F.3d 1493, 1496 (10th Cir. 1994) (internal quotation marks omitted). Defendant does not argue that his motion ...


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