United States District Court, D. Oregon
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael H. Simon United States District Judge
Wilmer Wade is charged under a superseding indictment with
one count of possession with intent to distribute and
distribution of heroin within 1, 000 feet of an elementary
school, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1),
841(b)(1)(C), and 860. Through counsel, Mr. Wade moves to
suppress evidence of controlled substances and cash allegedly
found on his person and any statements that he allegedly made
on the grounds that he was arrested without a lawful warrant.
On December 5, 2017, the Court received argument and evidence
on Defendant's motion and allowed the parties to submit
additional post-hearing briefing and evidence, which they
have done. This Order sets forth the Court's essential
findings of fact and conclusions of law. For the reasons
stated below, Defendant's motion to suppress is denied.
The November 1, 2016 Arrest
Wilmer Wade was arrested on November 1, 2016, in the
northwest area of Portland, Oregon. He was charged in
Multnomah County Circuit Court with Delivery of a Controlled
Substance and other related charges. The state case was
dismissed on the motion of the state prosecutor on February
22, 2017, when the United States elected to prosecute Mr.
Wade on federal charges in the District of Oregon.
November 1, 2016, Portland Police Officers Joshua Sparks and
Branden Combs arrested Mr. Wade near the corner of N.W. Sixth
Avenue and N.W. Flanders Street in downtown Portland, Oregon.
This location is part of an area in downtown Portland known
as “Old Town.” Officers Sparks and Combs are part
of the Portland Police Bureau's Street Crimes Unit.
Officers Sparks and Combs did not observe any criminal
activity by Mr. Wade. According to the officers, N.W. Sixth
Avenue is an extremely high vice area with open-air drug use
and dealing and prostitution. It is often referred to as
“Crack Alley.” Both officers were in uniform and
on foot patrol when they saw Mr. Wade standing near a
vehicle, engaged in conversation with a woman. The officers
recognized both Mr. Wade and the woman from prior contacts.
Officer Sparks reminded Officer Combs that Mr. Wade had a
warrant out for his arrest.
Officer Sparks testified that he may have learned from
transit officer Aaron Dauchy that there was an outstanding
warrant for the arrest of Mr. Wade, although Officer Sparks
was not certain of either from whom he learned that
information or when he learned it.
After the hearing held on December 5, 2017, the government
contacted Portland Police Officer Aaron Dauchy, who was able
to access his own radio call logs from October 2016. Officer
Dauchy found three entries indicating that he ran a records
check for Wilmer Wade on October 3, October 5, and October
10, 2016. Officer Dauchy recalled that he had contact with a
person in the days preceding October 3, 2016, who told
Officer Dauchy that Mr. Wade had been seen in the area of Old
Town and that there was a warrant for Mr. Wade's arrest.
Officer Dauchy confirmed the arrest warrant on October 3 and
again on October 5 and October 10, 2016.
Officer Dauchy works the transit corridor of Fifth and Sixth
Avenues in Portland that run through Old Town north of
Burnside Street. Officer Dauchy has regular contact with
officers of the Street Crimes Unit who work in Old Town.
Officer Dauchy recalls that he told Officers Sparks and Combs
that there was a warrant for Mr. Wade's arrest, although,
due to the passage of time, Officer Dauchy cannot say when he
passed that information to Officers Sparks and Combs. Officer
Dauchy explains, however, that it was after running Mr.
Wade's information and before Mr. Wade's arrest on
November 1, 2016.
After taking Mr. Wade into custody and placing him in
handcuffs, Officer Sparks contacted dispatch to confirm the
existence of an arrest warrant. Approximately two minutes
after the initial stop, the dispatcher notified the officers
by audio transmission that Mr. Wade had two outstanding
warrants, one for post-prison violation and one for probation
violation. Officer Combs testified that he did not begin his
search of Mr. Wade's person until after the warrant was
confirmed. Officer Combs found drugs and cash during his
search of Mr. Wade's pockets. Officer Sparks did not
observe the search conducted by Officer Combs, and neither
confirmed nor contradicted Officer Combs's testimony.
Portland Police Bureau's Directives Manual sets forth the
Bureau's policy regarding arrests made pursuant to
warrant. In relevant part, the Directives Manual, at Section
840.00 (Arrest Warrant Processing Responsibilities), states
that the Bureau restricts warrant service to the following
guidelines: “Members attempting service of a warrant
will verify its status, prior to making an arrest,
by MDC, radio or telephone to MCSO warrants base.
Verification can be made by members directly or through
precinct/unit members. c. After the warrant has been
confirmed and the member feels confident the checked
subject is the person named on the warrant, the requesting
member will complete the arrest procedure and transport the
arrested subject to the appropriate booking facility.”
The Parole (Post-Prison Supervision) Warrant
November 23, 2015, Wilmer Wade entered a plea of “no
contest” in Multnomah County Circuit Court case number
15CR41945 and was sentenced the same day. Multnomah County
Circuit Judge Judith Matarazzo sentenced Mr. Wade to one year
and a day in prison, but failed to pronounce a term of
post-prison supervision. Two days later, on November 25,
2015, Judge Matarazzo issued an amended minute order
reflecting a two-year term of post-prison supervision. On
December 16, 2015, Judge Matarazzo issued the final judgment
in the case, 15CR41945, which included a two-year term of
post-prison supervision. Mr. Wade was not present in ...