United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
B. Saris Chief United States District Judge.
Santo Yera moves to suppress evidence seized by the
government during a search of 109 Seaver Street, Apartment
Two in Stoughton, Massachusetts, and the attic located above
the second floor of the apartment building's common
hallway. Defendant argues the government failed to establish
probable cause to believe that contraband would be found at
109 Seaver Street because there was no nexus between
Defendant's drug activities and that location. Moreover,
Defendant argues information in the affidavit supporting the
search warrant was stale. Finally, Defendant alleges the
search of the attic exceeded the scope of the search warrant.
hearing, without objection, Defendant filed an affidavit
describing 109 Seaver Street and submitted photographs of the
premises. Defendant's Motion to Suppress (Docket No. 227)
mid-2015, authorities began an investigation of a drug
trafficking organization in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Investigators believed Luis Rivera ran a conspiracy to
distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin. Authorities
obtained a warrant to intercept wire and electronic
communications to and from Rivera's cell phone. Based on
multiple intercepted communications over a period of three
months, investigators concluded Defendant was a drug supplier
February 13, 2016, in an intercepted call between Rivera and
Defendant, Rivera asked Defendant, “Are you
Gucci?” Investigators interpreted this communication to
mean that Rivera was asking if Defendant had cocaine for
sale. Rivera used the term “Gucci” as a code word
to indicate to his customers that he had cocaine.
February 29, 2016, communications between Rivera and
Defendant indicated Defendant was going to supply Rivera with
drugs. Rivera told Defendant “a nice check” was
ready for him if he could supply Rivera with more drugs.
Defendant said that he could.
March 10, 2016, Defendant and Rivera texted each other to set
a place and time to meet. Surveillance units observed them
meet at Defendant's workplace, an autobody shop located
at 954 Centre Street in Brockton, Massachusetts. After their
meeting, Rivera sold 69 grams of cocaine to a customer.
Investigators believe Defendant supplied the drugs Rivera
sold to his customer that night.
April 7, 2016, communications between Defendant and Rivera
suggested they were going to engage in another drug
transaction. Rivera texted Defendant asking, “Oh, you
got it over there?” About 23 minutes later, Rivera
contacted Defendant and said, “I'm outside
sucker.” Although investigators did not see Rivera at
109 Seaver Street, GPS data from Rivera's cell phone
placed him at that location. A car belonging to Defendant was
also observed at the scene, suggesting that Defendant was
also at 109 Seaver Street. Based on Rivera's
conversations with customers prior to meeting with Defendant,
along with conversations between Rivera and Defendant that
same day, investigators believed Rivera picked up cocaine
from Defendant's residence to then sell to a customer.
22, 2016, approximately three weeks before the search warrant
for 109 Seaver Street was issued, Rivera spoke with Defendant
“to see if [Defendant] can throw [Rivera] some more so
[he] can mix it with this one.” Investigators
interpreted this request as Rivera asking Defendant for more
109 Seaver Street and the Attic
Seaver Street is a two-story residence. There are two
apartments in the building, one on each floor. The landlord
of 109 Seaver Street lives next door at 107 Seaver Street.
Apartment Two, Defendant's apartment, is on the second
floor of 109 Seaver Street. There is also an attic trapdoor
in the ceiling of the common hallway of the second floor.
There are no other units on the second floor. In
Defendant's affidavit, he stated he believed the attic
area was for storage ...