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United States v. Partha

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

June 2, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
KAREEM WALTER PARTHA, and SHAMEEKA FRANCE, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Leigh Martin May United States District Judge

         This case comes before the Court on the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation ("R&R") [56], recommending that the Court deny Defendants' Motions to Suppress [26, 28, 38, 39] and Motion to Dismiss the Indictment [42]. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), Defendants filed objections to the R&R. After due consideration, the Court enters the following Order:

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case arises from Defendants' arrest for alleged fraudulent activity related to various credit card transactions and thefts. See Dkt. No. [1] (Indictment). On October 28, 2013, Special Agent Loving obtained a search warrant for Defendants' residence at 5502 Jamerson Drive, Atlanta, Georgia. In support of that warrant, Special Agent Loving described Defendants' alleged fraudulent activity in Maryland and in Atlanta. Specifically, the affidavit detailed fraudulent activity beginning on August 24, 2013, at a J. Crew retail store in Atlanta before Defendants apparently headed to Maryland to exchange the items bought in Atlanta, make new fraudulent purchases, and secure a hotel room. The last fraudulent transaction is alleged to have occurred on September 7, 2013, when Defendants allegedly exchanged more items previously purchased at a J. Crew.

         Defendants were subsequently arrested by the United States Marshal Services in New York. They were then transported to the Northern District of Georgia before appearing before a magistrate judge.

         Defendants have moved to suppress evidence seized from their home based on Special Agent Loving's affidavit filed in support of her search warrant. Defendants contend that the warrant lacks probable cause and moved to dismiss the indictment for violation of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 5. The Magistrate Judge considered Defendants' arguments and concluded that the Court should deny all Motions. As discussed above, Defendants now object to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court reviews the Magistrate's Report and Recommendation for clear error if no objections are filed. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). If a party files objections, however, the district court must determine de nova any part of the Magistrate Judge's disposition that is the subject of a proper objection. Id.; Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3). As Defendants filed objections to the R&R, the Court reviews the Magistrate Judge's findings and recommendations regarding these conclusions on a de nova basis. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         III. DISCUSSION

         As discussed above, Defendants object to the Magistrate Judge's recommendations to deny their Motions to Suppress and their Motion to Dismiss the Indictment. The Court will go through each.

         a. Motions to Suppress

         Defendants moved to suppress evidence seized from the execution of a search warrant at their home because they contend there was no probable cause fr the issuing judge to conclude any evidence of their alleged crimes would be found in their home. The Magistrate Judge rejected this argument for two reasons.

         First, the Magistrate Judge found that the evidence should not be suppressed because the issuing judge had a reasonable basis for concluding that evidence of Defendants' alleged crimes would be found at their home. As support, the Magistrate Judge relied on U.S. v. Kapordelis, 569 F.3d 1291, 1310 (nth Cir. 2009), and several related cases.

         In Kapordelis, the defendant challenged a search warrant of his home on the basis that the warrant did not provide probable cause to suspect that he might keep evidence of his crime in his home. Kapordelis, 569 F.3d at 1310. The Eleventh Circuit rejected his argument, holding that "[p]robable cause to support a search warrant exists when the totality of the circumstances allows the conclusion that 'there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place." Id. It further held, "Where a warrant to search a residence is sought, the affidavit must supply the authorizing magistrate with a r ...


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