United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
B. Saris Chief United States District Judge
Vaughn Lewis, charged with drug trafficking, moves to
suppress all items seized from 7 Raintree Lane, Apartment 7F,
Brockton, Massachusetts, and the storage closet located at
the Raintree apartment building and all fruits thereof.
Defendant argues that the search warrant, on its face, lacked
probable cause to believe that any contraband would be
located at 7 Raintree Avenue as there was no nexus between
any of the alleged activity and that address. Additionally,
Defendant argues that any allegations in the search warrant
affidavit were stale since all of the observations were made
at least three weeks, if not several months, prior. Finally,
Defendant contends the search of the storage closet exceeded
the scope of the search warrant.
hearing was held. One witness, Carmen Depina, the lessee of 7
Raintree Lane, Apartment 7F and Defendant's partner,
testified at the hearing. Lewis's Motion to Suppress,
Docket No. 198, is DENIED.
October 2015 authorities began an investigation into a drug
trafficking organization in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Specifically investigators believed that Luis Rivera was
running a conspiracy to distribute and distribution of
cocaine and crack cocaine.
cooperating witnesses identified Rivera to authorities.
Investigators conducted multiple controlled purchases from
Rivera totaling over 150 grams of cocaine and 30 grams of
cocaine base. Authorities obtained a warrant to tap
Rivera's cell phones. Based on these intercepted
communications, Vaughn Lewis was identified as an individual
who purchased distribution quantities of drugs from Rivera.
Investigators were able to identify two locations used by
Rivera to distribute cocaine and cocaine base to his
customers including 25 Columbia Street, Apartment 1R,
Brockton, Massachusetts. Surveillance was established at
these locations. Investigators observed Lewis meet with
Rivera at 25 Columbia Street on two occasions to be supplied
February 22, 2016, Lewis contacted Rivera in an attempt to
purchase 62 grams and 14 grams of cocaine. Rivera told Lewis
to meet him “where you seen me last” to conduct
the deal. Based on information learned in the intercepted
communications, investigators set up surveillance at 25
Columbia Street to observe the deal. Subsequent observations
that day revealed that Rivera engaged in what appeared to be
a drug exchange at 25 Colombia Street. While the other party
was unidentified, the police observed he operated a gray 2007
Toyota Camry. This vehicle was registered to Carmen Depina
who resided at 7 Raintree Lane, Apartment 7F. Based on their
surveillance, investigators believed Lewis also resides at 7
Raintree Lane, Apartment 7F.
days later on February 26, 2016, communications between
Rivera and Lewis suggested they were going to engage in
another drug deal. Rivera texted Lewis that he was
“Gucci with some fire.” Based on these
communications, surveillance was set up to observe Rivera, at
25 Columbia Street, and Lewis, at 7 Raintree Lane, prior to
the deal. Pursuant to this surveillance, investigators
observed Lewis enter a black 2010 Nissan outside 7 Raintree
Lane. This car was registered to Carmen Depina at 7 Raintree
Lane, Apartment 7F, Brockton, Massachusetts. Investigators
then observed Lewis, driving the black Nissan, meet with
Rivera at 25 Columbia Street. They appeared to engage in a
March 7, 2016, in an intercepted call between Rivera and
Lewis, Lewis told Rivera he still owed Rivera money and that
“he hadn't been running around like that”
because he was working ten hour days. But, Lewis also stated
that he was “about to kick it up again” and that
he “needs Sobos.” Investigators interpreted this
to mean suboxone, a controlled substance used to treat pain
and addiction to narcotics.
17, 2016, approximately three weeks before the search warrant
was issued, Lewis was seen dealing crack cocaine and heroin
by Brockton police officers. The police officers observed the
black 2010 Nissan engage in two separate drug transactions in
a parking lot. The officers subsequently stopped both
vehicles that had met with the person in the black Nissan,
seizing a small amount of crack cocaine from one vehicle and
both heroin and crack cocaine from the other vehicle.
Individuals from both vehicles identified Lewis as the person
who had sold them the drugs. Twenty minutes later Brockton
police officers observed the black Nissan parked in front of
7 Raintree Lane, Apartment 7F.
on the above information, an affidavit in support of a search
warrant was filed on June 8, 2016. The search warrant for 7
Raintree Lane, Apartment 7F was signed on June 8, 2016 and
the search was executed the same day. Several items were
seized as a result of the search: a small knotted baggie
which contained a mixture of heroin and fentanyl; a loaded
.38 caliber revolver; over 30 rounds of ammunition for a .38
caliber revolver; cocaine base (crack cocaine) in a small,
knotted baggie; paraphernalia consistent with the preparation
of cocaine base; packaging associated with drug trafficking;
a scale consistent with drug trafficking; and paperwork
associated with Lewis. The warrant return lists the following
items as being found in the storage closet: the loaded .38
caliber revolver, 31 rounds of ammunition, scales and
packaging, a knotted plastic bag of white powder, paperwork
associated with Lewis, and a black scale.
7 Raintree Lane & The ...