Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Tolley

United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division

August 27, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff;
v.
GREGORY SCOTT TOLLEY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Donald W. Molloy, District Judge

         On June 26, 2019, the grand jury returned a one-count indictment charging Defendant Gregory Scott Tolley with felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) based on a 1994 felony conviction. (Doc. I.) Prior to his indictment, Tolley was arrested by the United States Marshals on a bench warrant issued by the state court. The Marshals were working with local law enforcement as part of a Department of Justice-sponsored initiative known as Project Safe Neighborhoods. (Doc. 17-1 at 3.) Following Tolley's arrest, ammunition was discovered on his person and a firearm with additional ammunition was found in his vehicle. Tolley seeks to suppress both the ammunition and the firearm on the grounds that the Marshals lacked authority to arrest him and the search warrant for the vehicle was infirm. (Docs. 17, 18.) The government opposes the motion. (Doc. 20.) Because the arguments are primarily legal and Tolley did not request a hearing, this matter will be resolved on the briefs. For the reasons provided below, Tolley's motion is denied.

         Factual Background

         On September 28, 2018, an arrest warrant was issued for Tolley in the Montana Fourth Judicial District Court, Missoula County for failing to appear on felony charges of assault with a weapon and intimidation. (Doc. 17-2.) Tolley was also wanted by the Montana Department of Corrections for a probation violation related to previous theft charges. (See Doc. 20-6 at 1; Doc. 20-10.) On December 4, 2018, members of the Montana Violent Offenders Task Force were conducting surveillance on a residence in Superior, Montana that "was believed to be a Bandido Outlaw Motorcycle Gang clubhouse or safehouse." (USMS Report, Doc. 20-6 at 1.) Members of the Task Force observed Tolley at the residence for approximately three hours before Tolley and his wife, Shanelle Parker, were seen "load[ing] up a bunch of belongings into what was believed to be a vehicle next to the cabin." (Id.) Tolley and his wife were then observed driving a mid-1980s gold colored Oldsmobile station wagon near Lozeau, Montana. (Lizotte Narrative, Doc. 17-7.) It was later discovered that the vehicle belonged to Parker. (Search Warrant Return, Doc. 17-5.) Members of the Task Force then followed Tolley to Alberton, Montana and conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle. (Doc. 17-7.) Tolley "was removed from the vehicle, handcuffed, and pat searched. Items removed from his pockets included two rounds of 9mm hand gun ammo and one round of .223 rifle ammo." (Id.) Montana Probation and Parole Officer Jeremy Lizotte informed Tolley that he was going to search the vehicle and Tolley said that everything in the vehicle belonged to him. (See Doc. 20-9 at 1.) Officer Lizotte then engaged in a probation search of the vehicle, which uncovered a bag of suspected methamphetamine. (Doc. 17-7.) Officer Lizotte returned the bag to the vehicle and turned the vehicle over to Mineral County, (Id.)

         Based on Officer Lizotte's discovery, the Mineral County Sheriffs Department sought a search warrant for the vehicle on December 5, 2018, which was issued that same day. (Warrant App., Doc. 17-3; Warrant, Doc. 17-4.) During that search, the Sheriffs Department recovered:

- Springfield XD 9MM semi-automatic pistol serial #MG942974
- Stolen out of Missoula Co.
- 18 = 19 rounds of 9MM in magazine and chamber
- 2=clear glass Meth pipes with meth residue
- 2=clear plastic baggies with residue
- 2=butane torches
- 22.2 grams of crystal shards tested positive for Methamphetamine.

(Doc. 17-5.)

         In his motion, Tolley identifies additional facts he believes should have been included in the search warrant application. First, Tolley notes that he was originally stopped and handcuffed by the United States Marshals, who indicated at the time that there was "no federal case" against him. (See Tolley Decl., Doc. 19 at ΒΆ 4.) Second, Tolley alleges that the methamphetamine discovered by Officer Lizotte during the probation search was in a leather bag that belonged to Tolley's wife and therefore outside the scope of a probationary search. Tolley thus seeks to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.