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United States v. Robinson

United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Southern Division

November 9, 2018, Decided; November 11, 2018, Filed

No. 7:18-CR-32-BO-1, 2

Opinion

ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on defendants' pretrial motions. The government has responded in opposition to each of these motions, and all are ripe for disposition. A hearing was held before the undersigned on November 1, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. For the following reasons, defendants' joint motion to dismiss [DE 92] is DENIED, defendant Pridgen's motion to sever [DE 86] is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, defendant Pridgen's motion to suppress evidence obtained in the cell phone search [DE 85] is [*2]  DENIED, defendant Pridgen's motion to suppress statements he made to law enforcement officers [DE 88] is DENIED, and defendant Robinson's motion to suppress statements he made to law enforcement officers [DE 87] is DENIED. Defendant Robinson's oral motion to withdraw his motion to adopt defendant Pridgen's motion to suppress [DE 93] is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

Defendants Demetrius Robinson and Daquan Pridgen are charged by way of indictment with armed bank robbery and aiding and abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113 and 2 (Count One); with discharging firearms in the commission of the bank robbery and aiding and abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(iii) and 2 (Count Two); and with being felons in possession of firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and 924 (Counts Three and Four). [DE 27]. All of the charges stem from a January 2018 robbery of a PNC Bank in Lumberton, North Carolina.

Following the Lumberton bank robbery, four masked individuals fled in a gray Saturn. [DE 85, p. 2]. Lumberton Police responded and tried to conduct a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle. Id. A chase ensued. Id. During the chase, the fleeing individuals fired multiple shots at the pursuing police vehicles, striking several. Id. The gray Saturn then stopped [*3]  briefly at a mini mart Id. One individual fled the car on foot while the remaining three continued the pursuit into neighboring Cumberland County. Id. Before the gray Saturn came to a final stop, another individual fled on foot, too. Id. Ultimately, the remaining two individuals left the car and fled into nearby woods. Id. Law enforcement conducted a cursory search of the gray Saturn at that time to confirm that no individuals remained. [DE 112]. Several hours later, police conducted a warrantless search of the gray Saturn and found—in addition to numerous firearms, shell casings, a mask, and gloves—a cellphone. [DE 85, p. 3]. At this time, the police had not apprehended any suspects or identified the fleeing individuals. [DE 112]. Investigators then conducted a warrantless search of the cell phone and reviewed text messages, contacts, and recently dialed phone numbers. [DE 85, p. 3]. Based on this information, investigators concluded that the phone belonged to defendant Pridgen and developed him as a suspect. Id.

On January 28, 2018, defendant Pridgen was arrested and taken to an interrogation room to be questioned by FBI Special Agents Rachelle Glenn and Tim Healy. [DE 88, p. 2]. [*4]  Agent Healy provided Pridgen with his Miranda warnings. [DE 88, p. 3]. Pridgen nodded. Id. Agents asked Pridgen if he was comfortable acknowledging his rights. Id. Again, Pridgen nodded. Id. He was not given a waiver form. Id. Pridgen then made incriminating statements. Id.

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192567 *; 2018 WL 5908894

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. DEMETRIUS ROBINSON and DAQUAN PRIDGEN

CORE TERMS

suppress, robbery, phone, violence, interrogation, armed, indictment, conveyed, abandoned, firearms, privacy, re-initiated, cooperation, custody, invoked, waived, fled