Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Thayer

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

April 6, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
TREVOR LEE THAYER, Defendants.

          FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW, AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S SECOND MOTION TO SUPPRESS

          ROBERT C. BRACK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendant's Second Motion to Suppress. Doc. 127. The Second Superseding Indictment charges Defendant with: (Count 1) Possession of an Unregistered Firearm - Short Barreled Rifle, in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5841(a), 5845(a)(3), 5861(d), and 5871; (Counts 2 and 3) Possession of an Unregistered Firearm - Silencer, in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5841(a), 5845(a)(7), 5861(d) and 5871; (Count 4) Making of an Unregistered Firearm - Silencer, in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5841(a), 5822, 5845(a)(7), 5861(f) and 5871; (Count 5) Manufacturing Marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D); (Count 6) Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i); and (Count 7) Maintaining Drug-Involved Premises, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856(a)(1). Doc. 138.

         Defendant contends that all evidence seized pursuant to the search warrant issued by United States Magistrate Judge William P. Lynch on August 13, 2012 should be suppressed on the basis that the affidavit in support of the warrant contained intentional material omissions. (Doc. 127). Specifically, Defendant alleges that Special Agent Ryan Mirabal should have included the fact that the Defendant had pending a renewal of his Marijuana Medical License from the State of New Mexico. (Id. at 2). Defendant argues that, had these omissions been included, the affidavit would not have established the probable cause necessary for the issuance of said warrant. (Id.).

         The Government responds that the motion should be denied because this Court has already found that (a) Special Agent Mirabal was told that Defendant did not have a pending renewal of his license and (b) the evidence presented by Defendant as to the renewal of his license only shows that the search warrant was obtained and executed during the four-month gap between the expiration and renewal of Defendant's license. (Doc. 131.) The Government also posits that even if the Court determined that Special Agent Mirabal knew of and omitted the fact that Defendant was in the process of renewing his license, there was still sufficient probable cause to search Defendant's residence. (Id.).

         The Court held a hearing on March 14, 2017. Having carefully considered the submissions and arguments of counsel and the evidence adduced at the suppression hearing, and being otherwise fully advised, the Court DENIES Defendant's motion.

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         Rule 12(d) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that when factual issues are involved in deciding a motion, the Court must state its essential findings on the record. See Fed. R. Crim. P 12(d). The Court makes the following factual findings based on the evidence in the record and evidence adduced at the suppression hearing. At the hearing, the Court heard testimony from: former DEA Special Agent Ryan Mirabal, New Mexico Department of Public Safety Sergeant Christopher Alvarez, and Defendant Trevor Lee Thayer.

         1. Defendant Trevor Lee Thayer, a New Mexico resident, initially submitted a request to the New Mexico Department of Health for a medical cannabis card and a personal production license on March 9, 2010. Doc. 161 (Partial Transcript of Hearing 4:4-9); Def.'s Exs. A, C. The Department of Health approved Mr. Thayer's request on April 1, 2010. Id.

         2. Mr. Thayer's production license and medical cannabis card expired on April 26, 2012. Doc. 161 (Partial Transcript of Hearing 5:5). Mr. Thayer testified that, on July 16, 2012, he re-applied for recertification with the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. Doc. 161 (Partial Transcript of Hearing 6:15- 7:2); Def.'s Ex. A. This process included mailing his written application and a renewal check for the registration fee. Doc. 161 (Partial Transcript of Hearing 6:15- 7:8); Def.'s Exs. A, B. The basis for the delay between the expiration of his card and reapplication was that Mr. Thayer had to obtain a new primary care physician after his previous physician retired. Doc. 161 (Partial Transcript of Hearing 5:8- 6:14). Thereafter, he received a letter from Ms. Angela Sundberg, a representative of the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, indicating that the Department had received his application on July 20, 2012. Doc. 161 (Partial Transcript of Hearing 3:14-4:2;7:13-8:8) Def.'s Ex. C.

         3. On August 6, 2012, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) received an “urgent” U.S. Postal envelope that contained several photographs of a marijuana grow and a letter detailing information about Defendant from a confidential source of information (SOI). Doc. 89 at 2; Doc. 127-1 at 8. Specifically, the photographs depicted an indoor marijuana grow in Defendant's house located at 1003 Rita Street in Silver City, New Mexico, and included pictures of marijuana growing inside the residence, in the back yard, and inside a greenhouse. Id. The SOI indicated that Defendant had a State of New Mexico growing license that was expired. Id. Between August 6 and 13, 2012, DEA agents continued to receive information from the SOI, who sent additional photographs of Defendant's grow house and marijuana that was located inside the residence. Doc. 127-1 at 8-9.

         4. On August 7, 2012, Ryan Mirabal, then employed as a DEA Special Agent, contacted the State of New Mexico Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program and spoke to William Catanach. Transcript of Hearing 19:13- 20:19; 23:12-18.[1] Mr. Catanach indicated that Defendant's license had in fact expired on April 26, 2012, and stated that Defendant had not begun the process to renew his license as of that date. Id.

         5. Special Agent Mirabal wrote an affidavit in support of the search warrant for Defendant's residence. See Doc. 127-1; Doc. 89 at 5-6. The affidavit included both a detailed description of the marijuana on the premises and information about a variety of firearms on the premises. Id. The affidavit disclosed that the SOI sent additional photos from her phone “of THAYERS house and marijuana contained within the household.” Id. With regard to Defendant's state medical license, the affidavit stated that “[o]n August 07, 2012, SA Ryan Mirabal called the State of New Mexico Department of Health Medical Tempest Program and spoke with Mr. William Catanach concerning the legitimacy of the license. Mr. Catanach indicated that THAYER's license had expired on 04/26/2012 and was inactive in the license renewal program for the state.” Doc. 127-1 at 8.

         6. On August 13, 2012, a search warrant was obtained by Special Agent Mirabal. Doc. 88 at 10; Doc. 89 at 5. On August 21, 2012, agents from the DEA, ATF and New Mexico Motor Traffic Division (MTD) served a search warrant on Defendant's residence. Transcript of Hearing 72:23-25; Doc. 88 at 11.

         7. The State of New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program approved renewal of Defendant's medical card and personal production license on August 30, 2012. Doc. 60-3 at 1; Transcript of Hearing ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.