United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
SUPPRESS (DOCKET NO. 110)
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN DISTRICT JUDGE
Cruz (“Defendant”) moves this Court to suppress
the evidence obtained as a result of the interception of wire
communications. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's
motion (Docket No. 110) is denied.
in the summer of 2016, DEA officials suspected Jorge Burgos
was involved in selling large quantities of cocaine and
heroin in and around Worcester, Massachusetts. Before
obtaining a wiretap from this Court, the Government had
investigated Burgos for over a year. (Docket No. 112-1 ¶
75) (“Wiretap Aff.”). During that time, the
Government employed several investigative methods including:
statements of confidential sources, physical surveillance,
monitored and or/recorded phone calls, pen register and
trap-and-trace information, telephone records, seizing and
searching a package found to contain three kilograms of
cocaine, and queries of law enforcement records and
intelligence databases. Id. ¶ 76.
investigations revealed that Burgos purchased drugs from
Deibby Garcia to resell to his own customers. Id.
¶54. For example, on November 13, 2017, Burgos allegedly
purchased, or attempted to purchase cocaine from Garcia.
Id. ¶¶ 40-52. Also, in October 2017, a
confidential source made three controlled purchases from
Burgos. Id. ¶ 36. In addition, agents made
eleven controlled purchases of narcotics from Jose Ortiz and
Roberto Ortiz, suspected members of Burgos' operation.
Id. ¶ 34.
December 2017, investigators still lacked detailed
information on Burgos' drug trafficking organization and
began to focus on Garcia who appeared to be Burgos' main
supplier. Consequently, the Government obtained a wiretap
authorized by this Court on Garcia's cell phone to learn
more about the source of narcotics being distributed, the
location of drugs being distributed, and the distributors.
Government had limited success in learning about Garcia's
organization through normal investigative methods including
physical surveillance, confidential sources, prior wiretaps,
and phone records. Id. ¶¶ 77-78. The
Government argued that although confidential sources bought
drugs from Burgos, they were unlikely to gain the information
necessary to penetrate the internal operations of
Garcia's and Burgos' drug trafficking organizations.
Id. For example, informants were not privy to
information such as sources of supply or the intended
transportation route of the Burgos DTO. Id. ¶.
88. Accordingly, the Government asserted wiretap was
necessary to fully reveal the manner and scope in which
Garcia and his associates were involved in drug trafficking
and because evidence was unavailable from other investigative
avenues. Id. ¶ 150.
intercepted following the wiretap revealed that Garcia
distributed cocaine to several individuals in the Worcester
area and received his supply from Puerto Rico. See
generally Cruz Aff. Investigation further revealed that
Defendant Cruz, a United States Postal Service
(“USPS”) Letter Carrier, conspired with Garcia to
arrange the delivery of packages of cocaine shipped from
Puerto Rico to addresses located on Defendant's USPS
route. Id. ¶ 24. Defendant would then get the
packages and give them to Garcia. Id. Defendant used
a phone subscribed in his name to communicate with Garcia.
Id. ¶ 54. Agents confirmed that the address
listed for that phone number was Defendant's.
January 2018, Defendant texted Garcia two addresses in
Marlborough to enable Garcia's supplier in Puerto Rico to
ship two packages of cocaine to an address on Defendant's
USPS route. Id. ¶¶ 57-63. Upon retrieving
those packages, Defendant was to transfer the packages to
Garcia. Id. However, while in transit, a trained
narcotic sniffing canine positively alerted to the package.
Id. ¶ 64. After a search warrant was obtained
for the package, it tested positive for the presence of
cocaine. Id. ¶ 65. On the morning of January
16, 2018, U.S. Postal Inspectors arranged for the second
package to be placed in Defendant's ordinary deliveries.
Id. ¶ 66.
January 16, 2018, Defendant retrieved the second package and
arranged with Garcia to have a woman pick up the package.
Id. ¶¶ 66-72. Later that day, agents
observed the Defendant meet with a woman in the Marlborough
area and give her a package. Id. ¶ 73. Shortly
thereafter, agents retrieved that package, which contained
cocaine, from the woman and arrested Defendant. Id.
¶¶ 73-80. Defendant identified a photo of
Garcia's brother as the individual who paid him $500 for
a previous delivery in December 2017. Id. ¶ 81.
January 2018, Defendant was indicted and charged with one
count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, one count of
possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and one
count of utilization of a communication facility in
furtherance of narcotics trafficking offense. (Docket No.
III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of
1968, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-2520, promulgates the
standards and procedures for the use of electronic
surveillance. A judge may allow an application for