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United States v. Black

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

July 22, 2019

United States Of America
v.
Gary Lyn Black

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          RENEE HARRIS TOLIVER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         On July 10, 2019, pursuant to the referral of the district judge, Doc. 21, a hearing was held on Defendant Gary Lynn Black's Motion to Suppress Evidence, Doc. 19. Defendant Black, proceeding pro se and with the assistance of stand-by counsel, [1] Assistant Federal Public Defender Stephen Green, announced ready to proceed. The Government, appearing by and through Assistant United States Attorney Rebekah Ricketts, likewise announced ready.

         Defendant Black seeks an order suppressing evidence seized during the search of 3501 Windy Lane, Alvarado, Texas. Doc. 19, passim. He avers that the search was pursuant to a search warrant and resulted in the seizure of “drugs, [a] shotgun and cash.” Doc. 19 at 1-2.

         A. Factual Findings

         Based on the testimony of the sole witness, Task Force Officer Tim Cortez, and relevant pleadings in this case, the Court makes the following factual findings:

1. Warrants for the arrest of Defendant Black were outstanding from January 2018 to May 10, 2018.
2. During that period, law enforcement officials conducted a covert investigation of Defendant Black with the knowledge that Defendant Black had outstanding arrest warrants, but did not arrest Defendant Black.
3. A state search warrant was obtained for the location of 3501 Windy Lane, Alvarado, Texas, at some time prior to May 10, 2018.
4. On May 10, 2018, Defendant Black was arrested and transported to the Windy Lane location, and the search warrant was executed.
5. Items of evidentiary value were seized during the execution of the search warrant.

         B. Analysis

         Defendant Black argues that the evidence should be suppressed in this because it was seized in violation of Texas law. Specifically, he cites Article 38.23 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides:

No evidence obtained by an officer or other person in violation of any provisions of the Constitution or laws of the State of Texas, or of the Constitution or laws of the United States of America, shall be admitted in evidence against the accused on the trial of any criminal case.

Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 38.23(a) (West). Doc. 19 at 4. He also contends that the law enforcement officials who continued to investigate him, rather than arrest him on the outstanding warrants, violated Article 2.18 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides, in pertinent part, that “[w]hen a prisoner is committed to jail by a ...


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