United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
FINDINGS AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
defendant Neil Sweeney is charged in a two count indictment
with distribution of child pornography and possession of
child pornography. He seeks to suppress from the introduction
into evidence against him at trial, various statements that
he made while in police custody on May 20, 2015. He assigns
as grounds for this suppression that the statements were
obtained by in violation of rights secured to him by Miranda
v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) and the Fifth, Sixth, and the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. For
the reasons set forth below I deny that motion.
approximately 8:00 a.m. on the morning of May 20, 2015
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Officer Jennifer
Weidlich, Worcester Police Officer Brian Bisceglia, and
several other law enforcement officers went to 54 Elm Street
in Worcester Massachusetts to execute an arrest warrant for
Mr. Sweeney. While he was being placed under arrest he asked
what he was being arrested for. When he was told that he was
being arrested for distribution and possession of child
pornography, he responded gratuitously, that he
"didn't even own a computer."
Sweeney was transported to the Worcester Police Station where
he was questioned by Agent Weidlich and Officer Bisceglia.
This questioning was both videotaped and audio recorded.
Prior to the questioning, Agent Weidlich advised Mr. Sweeney
of his Miranda Rights by using a FBI Advice of Rights form.
After reading the rights to Mr. Sweeney Agent Weidlich asked
him if he understood those rights and Mr. Sweeney responded
that he did. Agent Weidlich further asked if he had any
questions about the rights, and he responded in the negative.
He was asked to sign the form acknowledging that he
understood his rights, and that he was willing to answer
questions without a lawyer present. Before signing he told
the officers that he did not have his glasses because he was
arrested before he could put them on. The officers offered to
suspend the questioning and go get his glasses. However, the
defendant declined that offer and thereafter signed the form
acknowledging that he had received his rights was willing to
approximately ten minutes the authorities questioned Mr.
Sweeney without objection. When Mr. Sweeney was questioned
about what email accounts he used the following exchange took
Defendant: Pm trying to keep myself ...I don't want to
dig a hole. I need to speak to a lawyer. I need to find out
what the hell's going on here because Pm not gonna to do
something and you're telling me that Pm doing, I did
something that I didn't do. Pm not gonna admit to
something that I didn't do.
Bisceglia: No, we certainly wouldn't want you to do that.
Weidlich: No, definitely not. And it's certainly your
right to talk to a lawyer, so if, we're, you want to be
done here, we're done here.
Defendant: I mean, in regards to questions of me digging a
hole then Pm not going to do that. But as far as what
you're telling me what I did, I didn't do so ...
Bisceglia: So, are you asking for a lawyer. Pm confused.
Defendant: Do I need a lawyer?
Weidlich: That's not a question that we can answer.
It's entirely you're right If you'd like to speak
to a ...