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United States v. Prather

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

July 11, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DONTAVIUS PRATHER

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          RUSSELL G. VINEYARD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Defendant Dontavius Prather (“Prather”) is charged in a second superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a); one count of taking by force, violence, and intimidation United States currency from at least one bank employee, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a), (d), and 2; and one count of knowingly carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) and 2. [Doc. 95].[1] Prather has filed two motions to suppress evidence resulting from the execution of search warrants, [Docs. 91 & 92], which the government opposes, [Doc. 174]. For the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that both motions to suppress, [Docs. 91 & 92], be DENIED.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On July 25, 2018, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Georgia returned an indictment charging Prather and his co-defendants with various offenses in connection with an armed bank robbery that occurred on June 28, 2018, in Woodbury, Georgia, [Doc. 16], during which Prather allegedly drove three gunmen to the bank in a black Chevrolet Impala, [id. at 2]. Subsequent to the bank robbery, the Honorable Justin S. Anand, United States Magistrate Judge, issued search warrants on the same day for geolocation data regarding Prather's cellular telephone and for information from Prather's Facebook account. [Doc. 91-1; Doc. 93-1; Doc. 174-1].

         The affidavits that the government attached to its applications for the search warrants described the relevant probable cause as follows:

6. On June 28, 2018, at approximately 12:24 p.m., three armed black males with their faces covered robbed the United Bank located at 33 Jones Mill Road, Woodbury, Georgia 30293, which is located in the Northern District of Georgia. The deposits of United Bank are federally insured through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
7. Based on bank surveillance footage, the robbers were described as follows:
a. Subject 1 (later identified as [Derrick Scott (“Scott”)] was described as a black male of unknown age, between 5'10” and 6'2” tall with a medium or athletic build, wearing a camouflage long sleeve shirt, a matching balaclava, a pair of black pants, a pair of white shoes, purple gloves, and a black backpack with orange straps, and carrying a silver handgun;
b. Subject 2, who remains unidentified, [2] (hereinafter “Unsub 2”) was described as a black male of unknown age, between 5'10” and 6'2” tall with a thin build, wearing a camouflage baseball hat, black balaclava, grey long sleeve shirt, faded light blue pants, purple gloves, white with blue toes shoes, and a grey backpack, and carrying a black handgun; and
c. Subject 3 (later identified as [Antavious Bray (“Bray”)] was described as a black male of unknown age, between 5'10” and 6'2” tall with a thin build, wearing a black hooded long sleeve shirt, black face covering, and black pants, and carrying a semi-automatic rifle.
8. After being dropped off at the bank by a black Chevrolet Impala, [Bray], [Scott], and Unsub 2 ran into the bank. [Scott] and Unsub 2 approached the teller counter pointing guns at the teller while [Bray] went into the offices and ordered two employees face down on the ground. [Scott] and Unsub 2, each of whom was wearing gloves and carrying a backpack, took money from the teller drawers and placed it into their backpacks. [Scott] and Unsub 2 then demanded the vault be opened, took two employees into the vault with them, and placed money from the vault into their backpacks.
9. The total loss amount reported by the bank was $189, 259.00 U.S. Dollars.
10. [Bray], [Scott], and Unsub 2 fled out the back door of the bank, where they were engaged by a City of Woodbury Police Officer. The three robbers then fled on foot into the woods northwest of the bank, dropping the semi-automatic rifle, a handgun, and assorted clothing. These items were collected as evidence.
11. A black Chevrolet Impala was approaching the bank as the robbers came out the back door. But after the officer fired at the suspects leaving the bank, the Impala left the area. It was later determined through interviews that this vehicle was the getaway car for the suspects.
12. The Impala seen in the bank surveillance video had tinted windows, what appeared to be chrome additions to the front bumper, and “SS” in silver/chrome on the bottom front of the front-passenger door.
13. In talking with the Chief of Police in Woodbury, Georgia, the Chief of Police in Greenville, Georgia stated that he recently sold a black Chevrolet Impala SS sedan with tinted windows and chrome additions to the front bumper to [] [Prather]. The license plate for this vehicle is Georgia tag RLF8601; VIN Number 2G1WD58C879165734.
14. A search of publicly available photographs on Facebook showed [Prather] leaning on a black Chevrolet Impala SS that has tinted windows, chrome additions to the front bumper, and “SS” in silver/chrome on the bottom front of the front-passenger door, all of which matches the surveillance video of the vehicle used in the United Bank robbery.
15. [Scott] and [Bray] were apprehended by law enforcement approximately five hours after the robbery. During recorded Mirandized interviews, [Scott] and [Bray] admitted to being involved in the robbery of the United Bank. During his interview, [Bray] said the third suspect (Unsub 2) and the driver of the black Chevrolet Impala getaway car are known as “Big D” and “Little D.” [Bray] ...

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