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United States v. Ilori

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

October 14, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
OLUMUYIWA OLUFEMI ILORI, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, Jr., District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Return of Luggage [93].

I. BACKGROUND

On April 9, 2010, Defendant Olumuyiwa Olufemi Ilori ("Defendant" or "Ilori") traveled from Lagos, Nigeria, to Hartsfield International Airport ("Hartsfield") in Atlanta, Georgia. (See [1] ¶ 3). Upon arrival at Hartsfield, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") and the Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") "conducted an initial inbound examination" of Defendant. (Id.).

After the CBP conducted a "secondary inspection" of Defendant, Defendant "gave CBP Officers consent to have an x-ray conducted." (Id. ¶¶ 3-4). Defendant was transported to Southern Regional Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He tested positive for heroin, "pass[ing] a total of approximately 70 pellets [of heroin][1] while at the hospital." (Id. ¶ 6).

On May 4, 2010, a grand jury returned a four-count indictment (the "Indictment") against Defendant. [14]. Defendant was charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count One); possession with intent to distribute heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 (Count Two); conspiracy to import heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 963 (Count Three); and importation of heroin, in violation of U.S.C. §§ 812, 952, 960(a)(1), and 960(b)(1)(A) (Count Four). (Id.).

On June 8, 2010, a grand jury returned a four-count superseding indictment (the "Superseding Indictment") against Defendant. [35].

The Superseding Indictment added a forfeiture provision in addition to the four counts in the Indictment. The Government sought forfeiture of certain property, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§ 853 and 970, which constituted proceeds gained as a result of Defendant's criminal violations, and the $2, 500 in cash ("the $2, 500") that was in Defendant's possession at the time of his arrest at Hartsfield. (Id.).

On July 21, 2010, Defendant pleaded guilty to all four counts of the Superseding Indictment. [53]. On March 25, 2011, Defendant was sentenced to sixty (60) months imprisonment on each count, to be served concurrently, five (5) years of supervised release, and a $400 special assessment.[2]

On August 19, 2011, after the Government provided notice to third parties of the forfeiture, the Court entered a final order of forfeiture (the "Final Order") on the $2, 500. [88].

On June 25, 2013, Defendant sent a letter to the Court asking that the Court "instruct the U.S. Customs... to release [his] personal belongings and cash to [his] family." [92.1]. On June 26, 2013, the Court denied Defendant's request for the $2, 500, but granted Defendant leave to specify the "personal belongings" that he sought to have returned. [92] at 2.

On September 19, 2013, Defendant filed his "Motion for Return of Luggage" ("Motion") requesting the Court order his "arresting officer to release [his bag]." (Mot. at 1). Although largely incomprehensible, Defendant asserts that "[he is] talking about the money their [sic] too [sic] from [him] when [he] was arrested just only [his] personal bag [he] had clothes, shoe, [sic] and phone." (Id.).

On December 18, 2013, the Government filed its Response [95] to Defendant's Motion. The Government attached documents showing that on April 12, 2010, Defendant signed a "Baggage Release Notice, " which provides that "the baggage will be considered abandoned" and "will be destroyed or sold at a public auction, " if Defendant failed to provide, "within 30 days of the date of detention, " "a legitimate name, address and phone number of someone who can and will accept this baggage." [95]. The Government asserts that, because Defendant ...


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