United States District Court, D. New Mexico
ALEJANDRO B. FERNANDEZ ATTORNEY FOR MR. JONES
MATTHEW T. NELSON ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VÁZQUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Marcus Jones'
Motion to Compel Discovery Pursuant to Brady v.
Maryland & Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(1)(E)(i). Doc. 21.
The government filed a timely Response in opposition. Doc.
23. Having considered the Motion, the relevant law, and being
otherwise fully informed, the Court finds that the Motion is
not well-taken and accordingly will be
Jones is charged in a one-count indictment with Possession
with Intent to Distribute 500 Grams and More of a Mixture and
Substance Containing Methamphetamine. Doc. 11 at 1. The
charge stems from an encounter Mr. Jones had with Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent (SA) Jarrell
Perry aboard a Greyhound bus on May 5, 2019. Doc. 21 at 1. On
that date, SA Perry reportedly engaged Mr. Jones in a
consensual conversation. Doc. 23 at 1-2. After finding no
contraband in two bags belonging to Mr. Jones, SA Perry
noticed that he was wearing “long pants, a hooded
pullover sweatshirt, and a winter jacket.” Id.
at 2. Finding these clothes unusual for the weather and time
of year, SA Perry reportedly asked for and received
permission to conduct a pat down search, which revealed
“numerous hard bundles concealed underneath the
clothing and around [Mr. Jones'] waist.” Doc. 23 at
2. Mr. Jones was then taken to the DEA's Albuquerque
District Office, where agents removed ten clear plastic
heat-sealed bundles taped around his waist. Id. The
bundles weighed approximately 5.45 kilograms, and the
substance in one of them field-tested positive for
methamphetamine. Id. at 2-3.
Perry testified at the preliminary hearing held in this case
on May 7, 2019. Doc. 9. During his testimony, he disclosed
that after he arrested Mr. Jones on May 5th, 2019,
he obtained information in a separate investigation about who
owned the drugs in question. Doc. 9 at 35:20- 22 (Transcript
of May 7, 2019 Preliminary Hearing). SA Perry stated that he
did not have that information until after the arrest,
however, and denied knowing anything about Mr. Jones at the
time of arrest. Tr. at 35:9-14, 36:24-37:1.
Jones now moves this Court to compel the production of four
categories of information:
(1) All passenger lists Agent Perry consulted in connection
with Mr. Jones' arrest;
(2) Information regarding the other investigation, including
when it began, any relationship it had to Mr. Jones, and how
information pertaining to Mr. Jones was gathered;
(3) Any and all documents and objects concerning, or obtained
as part of any investigation that caused Agent Perry to
suspect Mr. Jones of wrongdoing, or otherwise led him to
approach Mr. Jones; and (4) Any and all documents and objects
concerning, or obtained as part of any investigation that
identifies the owner of the drugs that Mr. Jones was
Doc. 21 at 2-3.
support, Mr. Jones argues that the requested information
would “indicate additional avenues of investigation,
areas to explore on cross-examination, and assist in case
theory development.” Id. at 3-4. More
specifically, he argues that information about the other
investigation acknowledged by SA Perry could go to the
voluntariness of the encounter on the bus, and whether the
government was conducting a prior investigation into Mr.
Jones using “untested or illegal strategies to gather
information.” Id. at 5. He points to findings
in other cases that SA Perry's encounters do not appear
to be random, and to evidence that the DEA employs
“parallel construction” to hide secondary
investigations into targets. Id. at 6-7. He further
submits that the passenger lists would help “in
everything from organizing rebuttal and impeachment, case
theory, and… helping to identify other
witnesses.” Id. at 5.
Response, the government first asserts that on the day Mr.
Jones was arraigned, it provided the defense with “all
of the discovery in the United States' possession that is
related to this case” including “investigative
reports, photos, a recording of the initial encounter, a
video of the interview, receipts for cash and other items,
reports on [Mr. Jones'] personal history and criminal