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United States v. Goines

United States District Court, D. Kansas

November 14, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
EMANUEL E. GOINES, JR., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOHN W. BROOMES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case comes before the court on Defendant's motion to suppress (Doc. 23). The motion has been fully briefed (Docs. 35, 39) and the court held an evidentiary hearing on November 6, 2019. Defendant's motion is DENIED for the reasons herein.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         On June 22, 2019, the Wichita Police Department was investigating a homicide that occurred around 6 p.m. in the evening. Several weapons were fired at the scene of the homicide. The weapon had not yet been recovered by the police. Through the homicide investigation, Wichita officers learned that Defendant Emanuel Goines was present at the scene of the homicide. Defendant was with Quantezz Butler on that evening. Both Defendant and Quantezz were known to the Wichita officers as gang members. Officers also learned that Quantezz had been in possession of a firearm at the scene of the homicide.

         On June 25, officers continued to investigate the June 22 homicide. Based on the information learned in the investigation, a member of the Wichita Police Department issued a “felony pick-up order” for Quantezz. A felony pick-up order is not a warrant but appears to be a general authorization to arrest arising from a determination that officers had probable cause to arrest Quantezz for the homicide based on information learned in the investigation.[1] Officers were also looking for Defendant so that they could interview him about the homicide. Officers had intended to ask Defendant if he would agree to go to the police station to be interviewed. Officer Jeremy Henry was involved in the homicide investigation and in the surveillance on June 25. Henry was driving a patrol vehicle on June 25 and riding with Officer Christopher Hornberger. Officer Jamie Thompson was also involved in the surveillance and operating undercover.

         As a part of his duties, Henry utilizes social media as an investigative tool. Henry uses both Facebook and Snapchat. On his Snapchat account, Henry is friends with a user named “Pooh Hefner.” Based on the profile information, the photographs on the account, and similar associates, Henry believes that “Pooh Hefner” is Defendant. Defendant is a comedian and also uses the name “Pooh Hefner” as a stage name.

         As the officers were patrolling in Wichita, Henry was monitoring the “Pooh Hefner” Snapchat account. Henry viewed live videos that were posted to the account. Henry testified that the videos are limited, by the app, to ten seconds. In the first live video, it appeared that the user was at a funeral. At that time, there was a funeral occurring in Wichita for Freddy Trezvant, a known gang member. Henry also viewed another live video that showed four men in a vehicle. The video showed a driver dressed in black, a front passenger with what appeared to be a white t-shirt, a rear passenger with a Hawaiian shirt, and an individual who appeared to be Defendant. The individual who appeared to be Defendant was sitting in the rear passenger seat and wearing a white t-shirt that was made for the Trezvant funeral.

         Thompson was conducting surveillance at the funeral. Henry, Hornburger, and Thompson were in communication regarding the surveillance. Based on the information in the Snapchat video, Thompson was searching for a vehicle that had four younger men. Thompson observed a silver Chevy Trailblazer which appeared to have three or four young men. Thompson relayed the license plate information to Henry. One of the officers determined that the license plate was registered to Kenneth Butler, Sr., who was Quantezz' father. Quantezz also had a brother, Kenneth Jr. It was determined that Kenneth Jr. did not have a valid driver's license.

         The officers planned on stopping the vehicle after they determined that the driver was either Quantezz or Kenneth. Based on a review of the Snapchat video and pictures of both Quantezz and Kenneth, the officers could not determine who was driving the Trailblazer.[2] The officers planned to initiate the car stop after the burial at the cemetery. The Trailblazer, however, did not go to the cemetery. While following the Trailblazer, Thompson observed the vehicle swerve several times over the center lane. After the Trailblazer did not go into the cemetery, the officers decided to stop the vehicle for the traffic violation of failing to maintain a single lane, which is a violation of both state and local law.

         The patrol car activated its emergency lights to conduct the traffic stop. This initiated the video and audio recording in the police vehicle. The Trailblazer initially appeared to pull over in a parking lot but then sped off. The Trailblazer swerved in the parking lot and sped down the street. During the pursuit, the Trailblazer was speeding, almost crashing, cutting through private lots, and the passenger doors kept opening and closing. During the pursuit, Hornburger can be heard on the audio reciting traffic violations as they occurred.

         In the 4100 block of East Vesta, a car door on the passenger side opened and something was thrown out of the Trailblazer. Shortly thereafter, an individual jumped out of the Trailblazer. Hornburger thought that it was the individual in the rear passenger seat, who the officers believed to be Defendant. Hornburger then pursued that individual on foot. Thompson was also pursuing the Trailblazer and was able to maneuver her vehicle around the block and intercept the suspect who fled on foot. That individual turned out to be Kevin Johnson, not Defendant. In the meantime, the Trailblazer continued to flee from Henry. During that short time, Hornburger questioned Johnson regarding the individuals who remained in the Trailblazer and asked if there were any weapons in the vehicle. In response to the question regarding weapons, Johnson stated that there might be “a thing” or “something” in the car, which Hornburger understood as street slang for a weapon. Based on Johnson's responses, Hornburger believed that there was a weapon in the Trailblazer. Hornburger then notified the other officers of this information over the radio. A short time later, both the rear passengers jumped out of the Trailblazer. The individual wearing the Hawaiian shirt went to the west. The individual in the white shirt went east. The officers believed that this last person was Defendant. As he was running from the vehicle and into the neighborhood, Henry observed that the individual believed to be Defendant was holding his left arm close to his body while his right arm was swinging. Henry testified that this asymmetrical swing of the arms while running is indicative of someone who is armed. He observed the individual believed to be Defendant go east behind 1528 N Belmont. Henry then continued to pursue the Trailblazer.

         Thompson heard over the dispatch channel that the individuals seated in the rear had jumped out of the Trailblazer. She drove south on Broadview, which is one block away from Belmont. Thompson saw an individual matching the suspect's description walking in a hurried manner. Thompson recognized the individual as Defendant. Thompson ordered Defendant to the ground and testified that he was detained because he had fled from the officers while they were attempting to conduct a car stop. Defendant was placed in handcuffs after several additional officers arrived. Defendant was taken to the police department by Officer Tapia where he was interviewed by police. During the interview, Defendant waived his Miranda rights and made a statement.

         That same day, officers remaining on the scene recovered a handgun from the backyard of 1528 N Belmont. On July 16, 2019, Defendant was indicted pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (Doc. 1.) The indictment contains one count of felon in possession of a firearm. Defendant has moved to suppress his statements that he made while in custody on the basis that his arrest lacked probable cause.[3]

         II. ...


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