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United States v. Yang

United States District Court, D. Colorado

October 8, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
2. HANLI YANG, Defendant.

          ORDER ON PRETRIAL MOTIONS

          William J. Martinez United States District Judge.

         The Government charges Hanli Yang (“Yang”) and her co-defendant, Fudong Wu (“Wu”), with three crimes: (1) conspiracy “to manufacture and possess with the intent to distribute 1, 000 and more marijuana plants, a Schedule I controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(vii)”; (2) “manufactur[ing] and possess[ing] with intent to distribute 1, 000 and more marijuana plants, a Schedule I controlled substance, ” potentially to include aiding and abetting that crime, “[a]ll in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(vii) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2”; and (3) “us[ing] and maintain[ing] a [a home in] Aurora, Colorado, for the purpose of manufacturing and distributing marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance, ” potentially to include aiding and abetting that crime, “[a]ll in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 856(a)(1) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.” (ECF No. 1 at 1-2.)

         Before the Court are eight motions filed by Yang:

• Motion to Suppress Fruits of Search Warrant (ECF No. 50);
• Motion for Relief from Prejudicial Joinder (ECF No. 51);
• Motion for Disclosure Pursuant to Rules 404(b) and 609, Federal Rules of Evidence (ECF No. 52);
• Motion for Early Production of Jencks Material (ECF No. 53);
• Motion for Production of Bruton and Rule 801(d)(2)(E) Materials and Motion for Pretrial James Determination of Admissibility of Alleged Co-Conspirator Statements (ECF No. 54);
• Motion to Compel Disclosure of Existence and Substance of Promises of Immunity, Leniency or Preferential Treatment (ECF No. 55);
• Motion to Disclose Identity of Informants (ECF No. 56); and
• Request for Notice by Government of Intent to Introduce Evidence Pursuant to Rule 807, F.R.E. (ECF No. 57).

         For the reasons explained below, these motions are variously denied on their merits, denied as moot, or denied without prejudice as premature.

         I. SUPPRESSION MOTION (ECF No. 50)

         On October 10, 2018, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on a residence owned by Yang and her co-defendant, Wu, in Aurora, Colorado. (ECF No. 69 at 2.) The officers found about 1, 121 live marijuana plants growing in the basement, forming the basis of the indictment. Yang challenges whether probable cause supported the warrant that authorized law enforcement officers to search her home.[1]

         A. General Standards

         1. Burden of Proof

         “Generally, if the search or seizure was pursuant to a warrant, the defendant has the burden of [proving that the Government violated the Fourth Amendment].” United States v. Carhee, 27 F.3d 1493, 1496 (10th Cir. 1994) (internal quotation marks omitted). Yang has offered no argument why the general rule does not apply in this case, nor is the Court aware of any possible argument. Accordingly, Yang bears the burden here.

         2. Deferential Review of Warrants

         The Court's duty

is to ensure that the magistrate judge had a substantial basis for concluding that the affidavit in support of the warrant established probable cause. The task of the issuing magistrate is simply to make a practical, common-sense decision whether, given all the circumstances set forth in the affidavit there is a fair ...

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