United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
CHARLES A. PANNELL, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action is before the court on the magistrate judge's
report and recommendation (“R&R”) [Doc. No.
210]. The movant has filed objections thereto [Doc. No. 212].
Standard of Review
reviewing a magistrate judge's R&R, the district
court “shall make a de novo determination of those
portions of the report or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1). “Parties filing objections to a
magistrate's report and recommendation must specifically
identify those findings objected to. Frivolous, conclusive,
or general objections need not be considered by the district
court.” United States v. Schultz, 565 F.3d
1353, 1361 (11th Cir. 2009) (quoting Marsden v.
Moore, 847 F.2d 1536, 1548 (11th Cir. 1988)) (internal
quotation marks omitted). The district judge must “give
fresh consideration to those issues to which specific
objection has been made by a party.” Jeffrey S. v.
State Bd. of Educ. of Ga., 896 F.2d 507, 512 (11th Cir.
1990) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Absent
objection, the district judge “may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations
made by the magistrate judge, ” 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1), and “need only satisfy itself that there is
no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept
the recommendation, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72, advisory
committee note, 1983 Addition, Subdivision (b).
movant was indicted by a federal grand jury for one count of
conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A)
and for one count of possession with intent to distribute
cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1),
841(b)(1)(A), and 18 U.S.C. § 2.
was held from May 4, 2015 through May 6, 2015. The Eleventh
Circuit Court of Appeals summarized the evidence as follows:
In early January 2013, agents from the Drug Enforcement
Agency (“DEA”) began a wiretap investigation of a
suspected cocaine trafficker, Jonathan Crutcher. On January
15, 2013, agents intercepted a call between Crutcher and
another male, later identified as Curtis Jones, in which
Jones advised Crutcher he had just received some drugs.
Agents intercepted another call between Crutcher and Jones on
January 29, 2013, in which they arranged for a drug
transaction to take place later that day. The agents
established surveillance on Crutcher and observed him meeting
with Jones in a convenience-store-parking lot. After he met
with Crutcher, the agents followed Jones to a residence
located at 3964 Stonewall Tell Road in Atlanta, Georgia, and
observed a number of vehicles coming and going from that
residence over the course of the afternoon, including
Crutcher's vehicle and a red Dodge Ram.
Based on several intercepted calls between Jones and Crutcher
during that time period, the agents learned Crutcher had
turned over a large sum of money to Jones. In turn, Jones
provided the drug proceeds to his source of supply, whom
agents believed was driving the Dodge Ram. When the Dodge Ram
left the Stonewall Tell Road residence, agents directed a
local police officer to conduct a traffic stop of the
vehicle. Three large bags of money were recovered from the
vehicle, containing $614, 811 in cash. The following day,
January 30, 2013, agents intercepted a call between Jones and
Crutcher in which Crutcher asked Jones for another four or
five kilograms of cocaine. Following that call, the agents
sought and obtained a wiretap for Jones's phone.
On February 16, 2013, agents intercepted a call between Jones
and an unidentified male, in which they discussed a future
drug transaction. Two days later, on February 18, 2013,
agents intercepted several calls between Jones and a person
identified as “Dee, ” which led them to believe
the planned drug transaction would take place that day. The
agents established surveillance on Jones at 2170 High View
Road in Atlanta. Agents observed a number of vehicles coming
and going from the High View Road residence, including a blue
Chrysler Pacifica and a gray Nissan Maxima. When the Pacifica
left the High View Road residence, the agents directed local
law-enforcement officers to conduct a traffic stop of the
vehicle. The officers recovered a one-kilogram package of
powder cocaine and a bag containing crack cocaine in the
backseat of the vehicle. The agents likewise directed local
law enforcement to conduct a traffic stop of the Maxima, when
it left the High View Road residence. The officers recovered
two kilograms of cocaine under the hood of the vehicle and
eight kilograms of cocaine from trap compartments under the
Following the conclusion of the wiretap investigation, DEA
agents conducted a “takedown, ” in which they
simultaneously arrested the various individuals involved in
the investigation. R. at 1038. The takedown took place on
January 15, 2014; DEA Special Agent Michael Connolly, the
co-case agent for the investigation, was assigned arresting
Jones. Special Agent Connolly arrested Jones at a Hampton Inn
in East Point, Georgia. He subsequently took Jones to 515
Platoro Court, Jones's residence, because Special Agent
Connolly had a seizure warrant for Jones's BMW, which was
located at that address. When they arrived at Platoro Court,
Special Agent Connolly advised Jones of his Miranda1 rights.
Jones waived his rights and gave Special Agent Connolly
consent to search his Platoro Court residence.
In the family room of the residence, the agents found a
home-security-system monitor, a loaded firearm, and extra
magazine under the couch cushions. In one of the kitchen
cabinets, the agents found a money counter. They also
recovered a number of plastic baggies from the residence. In
the master bedroom, agents found another security-system
monitor, a collection of watches, and a collection of
sneakers that Jones stated was worth approximately $10, 000.
Jones told Special Agent Connolly he lived at Platoro Court,
and a barber and his son also had stayed there. When asked
whether there were any firearms in the house, Jones stated
the barber may have left a gun in the house. When Special
Agent Connolly asked Jones about his involvement in narcotics
trafficking, Jones admitted he was a marijuana trafficker.
Jones initially denied any involvement in cocaine trafficking