United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
E. WALTER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a Motion to Suppress and Request for
Franks Hearing filed by the Defendant, Steven
Dewayne Gilbert (“Gilbert”). See Record
Document 199. The Government opposes this motion.
See Record Document 204. For the reasons assigned
herein, Gilbert's motion is hereby
is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the
intent to distribute cocaine, a schedule II controlled
dangerous substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
846, 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C). Additionally, Gilbert is also
charged with one count of distribution of cocaine in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C).
Gilbert's co-defendants are Roderick Dewaine Hogan
(“Hogan”), Damione Brock (“Brock”),
Marvin Beck, and Keisarah McGee.
2018, Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”)
agents were investigating Hogan for dealing drugs. As part of
the investigation, the Honorable S. Maurice Hicks, Jr., Chief
United States District Judge for the Western District of
Louisiana, signed several orders authorizing the interception
of wire communications by Hogan and Gilbert. The date of the
Court's orders, phone owner, and number intercepted are
as follows: (1) October 4, 2018, Hogan, (318) 578-2387 and
(318) 402-2227; (2) October 18, 2018, Hogan, (318) 423-4087,
(3) November 5, 2018, Hogan, (318) 578-2387; (4) November 16,
2018, Gilbert, (318) 578-3434.
Government alleges that on or around December 14, 2018,
Gilbert's intercepted phone, (318) 578-3434, received
several phone calls from Kegan Weaver (“Weaver”)
from the number (501) 504-6364. The phone calls allegedly
revealed that Weaver discussed the purchase of cocaine from
Gilbert. The Government contends that Gilbert and Weaver met
up and drove to Hogan's home in Plain Dealing, Louisiana.
The two were allegedly at Hogan's home for several
minutes before driving back to Gilbert's home. A short
while later, Weaver left Gilbert's home and began driving
back to his home in Arkansas. Weaver was stopped by law
enforcement while driving home, and 28 grams of cocaine were
discovered in his vehicle.
December 18, 2018, search warrants were executed on
Gilbert's homes in Plain Dealing, Louisiana, and
Lewisville, Arkansas. The same day, Gilbert's phone was
intercepted. Gilbert was allegedly heard arranging to sell
cocaine to Patrick Clayton.
seeks to suppress all wire and electronic intercepts
occurring between November 30, 2018 through December 18, 2018
to and from telephone number (318) 578-2387 belonging to
Hogan. See Record Document 199 at 5. Gilbert also
seeks to suppress all evidence derived therefrom as fruit of
the poisonous tree. See id.
Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act of 1968 provides
that under certain circumstances a federal judge may issue
wiretap orders authorizing the interception of communications
in an effort to prevent, detect, or prosecute serious federal
crimes. See 18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq. The
statute requires that a judge must find probable cause to
issue the order, and sets forth detailed requirements for
both the application process as well as the order authorizing
the wiretap. See 18 U.S.C. § 2518. The statute
also provides that wiretaps, and evidence derived therefrom,
may be suppressed if: “(i) the communication was
unlawfully intercepted; (ii) the order or  approval under
which it was intercepted is insufficient on its face; or
(iii) the interception was not made in conformity with the
order of authorization or approval.” 18 U.S.C. §
2518(10)(a). Gilbert raises several arguments in support of
his motion to suppress the wire intercepts in the case
against him, which the Court will address in turn.
Alleged Irregularities with the Application
argues that the Government's November 5, 2018,
Application for Continued Interception of Wire and Electronic
Communications that was presented to Judge Hicks included an
attachment which does not contain the true initials or
signature of Deputy Assistant Attorney General Raymond
Hulser. See Record Document 199 at 1. Gilbert argues
that this results in the Department of Justice
(“DOJ”) approving officer being misidentified.
See id. The exhibit in question contains Raymond
Hulser's name and title of Deputy Assistant Attorney
General, Criminal Division. See Record Document
204-1 at 16-17 (Government Ex. A). A signature appears
directly above Mr. Hulser's name and title. See
id. Gilbert argues that the signature is not that of Mr.
evidentiary hearing is required on a motion to suppress only
when necessary to receive evidence on an issue of
fact.” United States v. Harrelson, 705 F.2d
733, 737 (5th Cir. 1983). A hearing is necessary only when a
defendant alleges sufficient facts, if proven true, that
would justify relief. See id. Sufficient facts are
those that are specific, detailed, and nonconjectural.
See id. A bare allegation such as Gilbert's is
insufficient to support such a claim. Although Gilbert argues
that the signature authorizing the application for continued
wiretap interceptions is not that of Mr. Hulser, he has
offered the Court nothing to ...