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United States v. Allen

United States District Court, D. Oregon

September 25, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
TYRONE LAMONT ALLEN, Defendant.

          Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney, District of Oregon, Paul T. Maloney, Assistant United States Attorney, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

          Mark. P. Ahlemeyer, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Attorney for Defendant.

          OPINION & ORDER

          MARCO A. HERNÁNDEZ, United States District Judge.

         Defendant Tyrone Lamont Allen moves to suppress identification evidence based on photo lineups that included an altered photo of Defendant. For the reasons below, the Court denies Defendant’s motion.

         BACKGROUND

         I. Four Bank Robberies

         Between April 3 and April 7, 2017, an individual (“the robber”) robbed or attempted to rob four different financial institutions in Portland: OnPoint Community Credit Union (April 3); Wells Fargo (April 4); Bank of the West (April 7); and Advantis Credit Union (April 7). Based on surveillance footage, investigators concluded that the same person committed all four robberies. Hawkinson Aff. ¶ 2, ECF 1.

         At OnPoint Community Credit Union, the robber asked a teller for change for a $20 bill. Id. at ¶ 6. When the teller opened the till, the robber leaned forward and opened a plastic shopping bag. Id. The robber threatened to shoot the teller if he did not give the robber the money. Id. The teller gave the robber approximately $6, 000. Id. The teller described the robber as a black male, about 5’10” tall, 180 pounds, wearing a grey hoodie and a baseball cap, and with tattoos on both hands. Id. at ¶ 7.

         At Wells Fargo, the robber also asked a teller for change for a $20 bill. Id. at ¶ 11. As the teller began counting out change, the robber threatened the teller with a gun and asked for all the large bills in her drawer. Id. The teller complied and gave the robber approximately $2, 772. Id. The teller described the robber as a light-skinned black male, mid-30s to -40s, 5’8” to 5’10” tall, medium build, with faded tattoos on both sides of his neck, stubble on his face, and said he was wearing a grey hoodie, a grey baseball cap, and glasses. Id. at ¶ 12.

         At Bank of the West, the robber approached the counter and asked the teller to put all her money in a plastic grocery bag. Hawkinson Aff. ¶ 16. He threatened the teller and instructed the teller not to push the alarm. Id. The teller described being shocked and scared. Id. Ultimately, the robber ran out of the bank without any money. Id. The teller described the robber as a black male, 45 to 50 years old, 6’1” tall, and said he was wearing a blue baseball cap, glasses, and a navy sweatshirt. Id. at ¶ 17.

         The Advantis robbery took place just after the Bank of the West attempted robbery. Id. at ¶¶ 14, 19. The teller reported that the robber approached her station and threw a plastic bag at her. Id. at ¶ 20. The robber told the teller that he had a gun and threatened to kill her if she did not put money into the bag. Id. The teller filled the bag with money from her drawer totaling approximately $5, 335. Id. The robber fled. Id. The teller described the robber as a black male, 30 to 49 years old, about 5’10” tall, and said he had a medium complexion. Id. at ¶ 21. He was wearing a black baseball cap, glasses, and a red hooded sweatshirt. Id. Detective Hawkinson- the lead bank robbery investigator assigned to this case-also testified that a witness at one point described seeing faint tattoos on the robber, as if they had been covered up.

         II. Defendant Identified as the Robber

         After the robberies, investigators released images from the Advantis and OnPoint robberies to the media to try to identify the robber. Hawkinson Aff. ¶ 23. Detective Hawkinson recalls receiving information from two informants who recognized Defendant from news coverage of the bank robberies. Either one or both suggested that Defendant was wearing makeup.

         III. Photo ...


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