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United States v. Rivera

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

July 24, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
LUIS RIVERA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Patti B. Saris Chief United States District Judge

         Luis Rivera, along with eight co-defendants, has been charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base. Docket No. 59. Rivera has filed two motions to suppress. In the first motion, Rivera seeks to suppress evidence seized from two apartments on the basis that the affidavit in support of the search warrants failed to establish probable cause. Docket No. 216. In the second motion, Rivera[1] seeks to suppress evidence derived from an allegedly unlawful wiretap of his cellphone. Docket No. 218.

         Both of Rivera's motions to suppress (Docket Nos. 216, 218) are DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         I. Title III Wiretap

         The government obtained a Title III wiretap on Luis Rivera's cell phone, Target Telephone (TT) 5, on February 10, 2016. The wiretap application was supported by a February 10, 2016 affidavit by DEA Task Force Agent Paul M. Gallagher that incorporated an October 30, 2015 affidavit by ATF Special Agent Robert J. White.

         According to the Gallagher and White affidavits, Rivera was part of the Boylston Street Gang (“BSG”), which distributed narcotics in Boston and Brockton, MA. Edison Tejeda and Antonio Sosa were the suspected leaders of the BSG. Rivera was suspected of supplying BSG members, particularly Tejeda, with drugs for distribution.

         II. Apartment Searches

         On June 9, 2016, at about 5:00 AM, law enforcement officers simultaneously executed two search warrants: at 25 Columbia St. Apt. 1R in Brockton and 103 Green St. Apt. 1 in Brockton. The warrants were issued on June 8, 2016 based on an affidavit by ATF Task Force Officer Gary Mercurio.

         Rivera was present at 103 Green Street at the time of the search. The record does not make clear what evidence was seized from either location.

         III. Procedural History

         Rivera was originally indicted on June 8, 2016. Docket No. 1. The superseding indictment was issued on July 13, 2016. Docket No. 59. The superseding indictment charged Luis Rivera and eight co-defendants with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base.

         On May 8, 2017, Rivera filed two motions to suppress. Docket Nos. 216, 218. The Court heard argument ...


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