United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
MEMORANDUM OPINON AND ORDER
GREER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the report and recommendation of United States
Magistrate Judge Clifton L. Corker filed on June 26, 2019,
recommending that this Court deny defendant Daniel Keith
Hylmon's motion to suppress. [Doc. 31]. On July 10, 2019
defendant filed his objections to the report and
recommendation. [Doc. 35]. The government responded. [Doc.
37]. The matter is ripe for review. For the following
reasons, the Court ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report,
ADOPTS the Recommendation, [Doc. 31], and DENIES
defendant's motion to suppress, [Doc. 27].
10, 2018, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against
defendant charging him with possession with intent to
distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine, its salts,
isomers, and salts of its isomers, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841 (a)(1), (b)(1)(A), possession of a firearm
in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A), and being a felon in
possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e), all arising from a January
29, 2018 incident. [Doc. 1].
filed a motion to suppress. [Doc. 27]. The Magistrate Judge
held an evidentiary hearing on June 25, 2019. At the
suppression hearing, the government presented Johnson City
Police Officers, Alex Garrison and Hannah Farmer, as
witnesses. [Doc. 33 at 6-45]. Defendant testified on his
behalf. [Id. at 45-48].
26, 2019, the Magistrate Judge filed his Report, recommending
defendant's motion to suppress be denied. [Doc. 31].
Defendant filed timely objections to the Magistrate
Judge's report and recommendation, and the government
responded. [Docs. 35; 37].
did not object to the basic facts outlined in the Magistrate
Judge's report and recommendation, but he did object to
the findings and legal conclusions related to those facts.
After reviewing the record before the Court and finding the
facts to be consistent with the Magistrate Judge's report
and recommendation, the Court ADOPTS BY
REFERENCE the facts as set out in the report and
recommendation. [Doc. 31 at 2-3]. See United States v.
Winters, 782 F.3d 289, 295 n.1 (6th Cir. 2013). The
Court will refer to the facts only as necessary to analyze
the issues raised on objection.
to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 59, "[a] district
judge may refer to a magistrate judge for recommendation a
defendant's . . . motion to suppress evidence." Fed.
R. Crim. P. 59(b)(1). Within fourteen days after being served
with a copy of the report and recommendation on a motion to
suppress, "a party may serve and file specific written
objections to the proposed findings and
recommendations." Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(2). "A
judge of the court shall make a de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified
proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is
made." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); see also Fed.
R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3).
Court must conduct a de novo review of those portions of the
report and recommendation to which objection is made and may
accept, reject or modify, in whole or in part, the Magistrate
Judge's findings or recommendations. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(C); Smith v. Detroit Fed'n of Teachers,
Local 231, 829 F.2d 1370, 1373 (6th Cir. 1987).
“The district court is not required to review - under a
de novo or any other standard - ‘any issue
that is not the subject of an objection.'”
Brown v. Bd. Of Educ., 47 F.Supp. 665, 674 (W.D.
Tenn. 2014) (emphasis added) (quoting Thomas v. Arn,
474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985)). After reviewing the evidence, this
Court is free to “accept, reject, or modify, in whole
or in part, the findings or recommendations” of the
magistrate judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
argues in his objections that the Magistrate Judge erred in
determining that: (1) the police had probable cause to seize
and search the vehicle; (2) the reliability of the drug dog;
and (3) defendant's Fourth Amendment rights were not
violated in his expectation of privacy in a locked box. [Doc.
Probable Cause to Initiate the Traffic Stop
argues the Magistrate Judge erred in determining that Officer
Garrison had probable cause to initiate the traffic stop.
[Doc. 35]. Specifically, defendant argues that Officer
Garrison intended to stop defendant's vehicle even if the
license plate had been registered to that vehicle.
[Id. at 1-2]. Moreover, defendant contends that as
soon as Officer Garrison pulled out behind defendant's
vehicle, defendant was seized and believed he had no choice
but to pull over. [Id. at 2]. Defendant maintains he
was seized at this point even though Officer Garrison had not
yet activated his blue lights. [Id.].
traffic stop is a "seizure" subject to the
reasonable requirement of the Fourth Amendment. Whren v.
United States, 517 U.S. 806, 809-10 (1996); United
States v. Guajardo, 388 Fed.Appx. 483, 487 (6th Cir.
2010) ("The Fourth Amendment's prohibition against
unreasonable searches and seizures by the government
'extend[s] to brief investigatory stops of persons or
vehicles that fall short of traditional arrest.'"
(quoting United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266, 273
(2002))). While Brendlin v. California, 551 U.S.
249, 254 (2007), holds a driver can be seized when the police
make a traffic stop, the traffic stop alone does not amount
to a seizure. "A person is seized by the police and thus
entitled to challenge the government action under the Fourth
Amendment when the officer, by means of physical force or
show of authority, terminates or restrains his freedom of
movement." United States v. McCauley, 548 F.3d
440, 443 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting Brendlin, 551 U.S.
at 254). Measured by an objective standard, a seizure occurs
if an ...