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United States v. Raleigh

United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division

October 9, 2018




         Defendant Douglas Campbell Raleigh is charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He has moved to suppress the evidence that forms the basis of Counts I and II of the Indictment. (Doc. 19). On October 5, 2018, the Court held an evidentiary hearing on Raleigh's motion. The Court heard from Billings Police Detective Hallam and Billings Police Officer Foster.

         Having read and reviewed the parties' submissions and the applicable law, having heard the testimony of the witnesses noted above, and for the reasons stated on the record by the Court, Raleigh's motion to suppress is granted.

         I. Background

         The Court listened to the recording of the anonymous call to dispatch. Ex. D. The following is taken from the dispatch call.

         On February 1, 2018, at 6:53 p.m., an anonymous caller contacted Billings Police Department's City/County Dispatch and reported that he was at the Grandstand Bar in Billings, Montana. (Doc.22 at:15). He stated he would "rather not" give his name or phone number, but wanted to report that he had run into a "person of interest" wanted for questioning by the Billings Police Department for a "shooting at one of the bars downtown." (Id. at:26). The caller said that he did not know the person's real name, but knew that the person went by "KB," [1] and that "KB" was a drug dealer. (Id. at:32). When asked again if he would give his phone No. or his name, the caller responded, "Nope." (Id. at:54). He said that the police should send a plainclothes officer to investigate so that the "bar don't get shot up." (Mat 1:01).

         The dispatch officer asked the caller when the prior bar shooting occurred and the caller said it happened about three months earlier, around the same time KB had shot at him. (Id. at 1:20). The caller stated that the police should know who the person of interest was, because "they have been looking for him for a while" and "he was on the front page of the paper." (Id. at 1:35). When dispatch asked what KB was wearing, the caller stated that "he didn't really get a good look," but that KB had "distinctive dreadlocks" and "may or may not have a goatee," was African American, and 6 feet 1 inches tall, 240 pounds. (Id. at 2:45-55).

         The dispatch officer asked the caller if he knew if KB had any weapons on him, the caller responded, "he shot at me before." (Id. at 1:02). The dispatch officer asked again if the caller knew if KB had any weapons on him, the caller said, "I don't know tonight... I didn't walk up and talk to the guy, he shot at me three months ago." (Id. at 1:13). When dispatch asked the caller if he knew what type of weapon KB typically possessed, the caller responded, "nope." (Id. at 3:55). He said KB shot at him with a pistol, which he assumed was a revolver because "when they came to see they couldn't find the shell casings." (Id. at 4:00). Dispatch asked if the caller knew if KB typically carried weapons, the caller responded, "he has shot at people before and he's a drug dealer. I don't know the guy." (Id. at 4:11-21).

         After providing a description of KB, the caller reported that he thought KB was leaving so dispatch "should forget it." Dispatch asked if he had seen any vehicles leave the parking lot and the caller responded, "he could be out there doing drugs, I haven't seen him leave yet." (Doc. 4:30-4:45). After providing a description of the parking lot where KB was located, he stated that he saw KB talking to a brunette with long hair outside of a four door sedan. (Id. at 6:25-6:35). After a couple minutes of silence, dispatch asks if the caller can see KB. (Id. at 8:49-52). The caller states that he can't "put eyes on him without being too obvious." (Id. at 8:53-57). He stated that he knew for a fact "from asking around" that KB "deals in cocaine and meth." (Id. at 9:19-23).

         After hearing sirens, the caller described his incident with KB and said that he chased him out of the bar and chased him with his truck, and that if KB heard the sirens he would run. (Id. at 9:53-10:13). He stated at that time KB shot at him, KB was driving a white Honda Pilot. (Id. at 10:21-23). The caller then advises dispatch that the police need to come around from the rear so that KB cannot see them coming. (Id. at 10:55-11). The caller continues to report KB standing in the parking lot and then states, "they got him." (Id. at 12:50-58). Dispatch confirms that the "officers are with him" the caller responds, "yep," and dispatch ends the call. (Id. at 13:00-05).

         While dispatch was talking to the caller, dispatch was also communicating with the Billings Police Department. At 1:40 seconds into the recording, dispatch advised officers of a suspicious person at the Grand Stand Casino. Specifically, dispatch states, "complainant states that a suspect in a bar shooting, there now, gave the name of "KB," kilo bravo, doesn't see any weapons but suspect may shoot the place if he sees a uniformed officer." (Doc. 44 at 1:25-47).

         The officer requests that dispatch look up a shooting at "Bones," a bar in Billings, on November 17 or 18. (Id. at 2:40). Dispatch responds that she found the call related to Bones and she lists off the names of the individuals involved, none of whom had the initials or names of "KB." (Id. at 3:25-3:40). Another officer states that the only bar shooting was the Bones shooting and "Kruger might have found everyone associated with that." (Id. at 3:41-3:52). Another officer states, "yeah, that's the only one I could think of, but thank you." (Id. at 3:52-53).

         One officer asked if "KB means anything to you" and the other officer stated he would give Sergeant Finnegan a call. (Id. at 4:01-08). Dispatch advised at that point that the suspect was still in the parking lot next to a red Ford pickup. An officer stated that units are going to the bar and they do need to have "KD"identified. (Id. at 5:10-12). Shortly thereafter, Sergeant Finnegan reported that "KB is not the shooter but he is a witness that Kruger still needs to get a hold of." (Id. at 5:28-31)(Doc. 21-1 at 1). Officer Foster and Detective Hallam parked behind the Grand Stand Casino and across the street from the Casino. (Doc. 21-1 at 2). Detective Hallam states that he sees a red Ford Crewcab pickup in the Grand Stand Casino parking lot.

         Dispatch advises the officers that the suspect's vehicle is not the red Ford pickup, but is parked next to it. (Id. at 8:30-57). Dispatch states that the complainant was not able to give a description of the suspect's vehicle other than that it was a sedan. (Id. at 8:59-9:01). Dispatch provides the suspect's description as a 25 year old black male 6' 1, 240 pounds, long hair in dreadlocks and goatee talking to a brunette female. (Id. at 9:02-08). Detective Hallam drives through the parking lot in an unmarked car and confirms he sees a black male east of the pickup talking to a female. (Id. at 10:48-53); (Doc. 21-1 at 1). He advises that he was going to park in the back and walk in on foot. (Id. at 10:48-53); (Doc. 21-1 at 2). Detective Hallam asked dispatch if the suspect was supposed to be wearing a hoody. (Id. at 11:25-30). ...

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