United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
Michael L. Brown, United States District Judge
jury indicted Defendant Sidney Edike with thirty counts of
wire fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity
theft based on an alleged fraudulent tax return and refund
scheme. Defendant Edike filed three pretrial motions: (1) a
motion to suppress statements he made during the execution of
a search warrant at his residence (Dkt. 20), (2) a motion to
suppress evidence obtained during that search (Dkt. 19), and
(3) a perfected motion to suppress evidence and a request for
a Franks v. Delaware hearing (Dkt. 35). The
Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”), recommending denying all three
motions. (Dkt. 42.) Defendant filed an appeal-preserving
objection to the R&R. (Dkt. 44.) The Court agrees with
the Magistrate Judge and denies all three of Defendant
Edike's motions to suppress.
September 2018, a grand jury returned a thirty-count
indictment against Defendant Edike. (Dkt. 1.) The indictment
charged him with wire fraud, access device fraud, and
aggravated identity theft related to an alleged fraudulent
tax refund scheme. According to the indictment, Defendant
Edike was responsible for filing more than 400 false tax
returns, all claiming tax refunds, many of which were
deposited into the same recurring Regions Bank accounts.
(Id. at 2.) The bank accounts were also fraudulently
opened, using a name and social security number of an actual
person, but with a mailing address that did not belong to
that person. (Id. at 3.) After the refunds were
deposited into the accounts, the indictment alleges that
Defendant Edike withdrew the funds from various ATMs.
up to the indictment, federal agents had secured a search
warrant for Defendant Edike's residence, which had been
one of the addresses of record on the Regions Bank accounts.
(Dkt. 42 at 4.) Defendant moved to suppress the evidence
collected during this search, along with a statement he gave
agents during a roughly three-hour interview.
Magistrate Judge held an evidentiary hearing where she
considered Defendant Edike's first two motions. (Dkt.
25.) Defendant Edike later filed a perfected motion to
suppress evidence and requested a Franks v. Delaware
hearing to challenge the validity of the search warrant based
on allegations of government misconduct. (Dkt. 35 at 1.)
Magistrate Judge considered each of these motions and then
issued an R&R recommending denial of all three. (Dkt. 42
district judge has a duty to conduct a “careful and
complete” review of a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation. Williams v. Wainwright, 681 F.2d
732, 732 (11th Cir. 1982) (per curiam). When a party files
objections to an R&R, the district court must review de
novo any part of the disposition that is the subject of a
proper objection. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b). A court reviews all other portions of the R&R for
clear error. See United States v. Slay, 714 F.2d
1093, 1095 (11th Cir. 1983) (per curiam).
objecting to an R&R, “parties . . . 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). Without proper
objections, the Court “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).
the statutory deadline to file written objections to the
R&R, Defendant Edike submitted a filing to the Court
stylized as “Mr. Edike's Objection to Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation.” (Dkt. 44.) The
filing, however, is not a distinct objection but merely a
reiteration of Defendant's arguments in his briefs and an
attempt at preserving the objection for appeal:
Defendant therefore respectfully objects to the conclusions
of the Magistrate Judge in order to preserve this issue for
the appellate record. Defendant objects to the
recommendations made by the R&R, maintains the positions