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United States v. Tingle

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division

November 15, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RONALD TINGLE, also known as CAPTAIN RON, also known as CAP, Defendant.

          ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS

          TANYA WALTON PRATT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Ronald Tingle's (“Tingle”) Motion for Grand Jury Transcripts (Filing No. 91), Motion in Limine (Filing No. 92), and Motion for Detention Hearing (Filing No. 93). Tingle requests copies of Grand Jury records for all events and testimony that occurred before the Grand Jury. He also asks the Court to prohibit the Government from introducing into evidence his prior drug conviction. Additionally, Tingle moves the Court to schedule a detention hearing. For the following reasons, Tingle's Motion for Grand Jury transcripts is denied, the Motion in Limine is granted in part and denied in part, and the Motion for Detention Hearing is denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In June 2015, a confidential informant with the Indiana State Police informed police officers that Tingle distributes methamphetamine in Switzerland County, Indiana. (Filing No. 108-1.) Thereafter, in August 2015, the informant allegedly conducted three controlled buys of methamphetamine from Tingle at Tingle's residence in Switzerland County, Indiana and purchased approximately two grams of methamphetamine on August 7, 2015, four grams of methamphetamine on August 18, 2015, and seven grams of methamphetamine on August 31, 2015. (Filing No. 96 at 17.) Police officers audio recorded and surveilled each transaction. Id. at 17-18. On September 1, 2015, a Switzerland County Circuit Court Judge found probable cause to issue a search warrant for Tingle's residence. (Filing No. 108-1 at 7-8.)

         On September 2, 2015, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Tingle. (Filing No. 96 at 18.) During the traffic stop, the officers recovered approximately $1, 100.00 in U.S. currency, some of which included the serial numbers of money used in the controlled buys. Id. at 18-19. That same day, Indiana State Police officers executed the search warrant of Tingle's home. (Filing No. 108-2.) During the search, the officers recovered a large amount of methamphetamine (approximately 165 grams), marijuana, scales, over $6, 000.00 in cash, and eight firearms. Id. at 20. Those firearms included: 1) a loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun; 2) a Ruger 10/20 .22 caliber rifle; 3) a Remington 870 pump 12 gauge shotgun with sling attached; 4) two New England 20 gauge single shot shotguns; 5) a Ruger .22 caliber Mark II target pistol; 6) a Harrington & Richardson 12 gauge single shot shotgun; and 7) a loaded Taurus .38 caliber special model 85 revolver containing five bullets. (Filing No. 108-2 at 16.)

         On October 19, 2015, a Grand Jury returned an Indictment charging Tingle with one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(viii), one count of distribution of 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(viii), two counts of distribution of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C), and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i). (Filing No. 1.) A Superseding Indictment was filed on October 19, 2016 (Filing No. 69) and on November 1, 2016, a Grand Jury returned a Second Superseding Indictment in this cause. (Filing No. 81.)

         Tingle was arrested on October 23, 2015, and appeared before the Magistrate Judge on that same day. The Government orally moved for detention pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142 and Tingle waived his right to a detention hearing, but reserved the right to request a hearing at a later date. On November 18, 2015, Tingle filed a motion requesting a detention hearing and a hearing was held before the Magistrate Judge on December 21, 2015. The Magistrate Judge ordered Tingle released upon conditions, but that order was stayed pending an appeal by the Government. On December 23, 2015, this Court held a hearing on the issue of detention. The Court determined that Tingle did not overcome the burden of production to show that he is not a flight risk or danger to the community. (Filing No. 43 at 1). The Court further found that there are no conditions or combination of conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community. Id. at 1, 4, 6.

         Tingle filed a second Motion for Detention Hearing on March 10, 2016, stating that detention caused an undue hardship to his medical condition and on his ability to prepare a defense of the charges pending against him. (Filing No. 53.) The Court denied Tingle's motion to reopen the detention hearing in a detailed order. (Filing No. 57). Tingle remains incarcerated and the matter is scheduled for trial by jury beginning December 12, 2016.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Before the Court are three motions. Tingle requests copies of Grand Jury records, moves in limine to exclude evidence of his prior 1982 drug conviction, and asks the Court to schedule a detention hearing. The Court will address each of Tingle's motions in turn.

         A. Motion for Grand Jury Transcripts

         Tingle asks the Court for “copies of the ministerial records of the Grand Jury (including tapes and transcripts) for all events and testimony before the Grand Jury, including but not limited to, the Indictment, Superseding Indictment and Second Superseding Indictment.” (Filing No. 91.) In response, the Government argues that Tingle is not entitled to Grand Jury material, asserting that Tingle failed to show a particularized need for the transcripts and records. The judicial system consistently recognizes that the proper functioning of grand jury proceedings depends upon their absolute secrecy. See Matter of Grand Jury Proceedings, Special Sept., 1986, 942 F.2d 1195, 1198 (7th Cir. 1991) (citing Douglas Oil Co. v. Petrol Stops Northwest, 441 U.S. 211, 218 (1979)). “To obtain grand jury material, despite the presumptive secrecy imposed by Fed.R.Crim.P. 6(e), a litigant must show that the information is needed to avoid a possible injustice in another judicial proceeding, that the need for disclosure is greater than the need for continued secrecy, and that [the] request is structured to cover only material so needed.” United States v. Campbell, 324 F.3d 497, 498-99 (7th Cir. 2003) (citing Douglas, 441 U.S. at 222).

         The Court finds that Tingle has not satisfied the above requirements to obtain Grand Jury material. Tingle states only that he requests the records pursuant to “Fed. Rule Crim.P. 6(e)(1), Rules 12(b) and 16, ” but fails to explain how the records would avoid a possible injustice in another judicial proceeding. Tingle also does not provide arguments regarding why the need for disclosure is greater than the need for continued secrecy or how the request is structured to cover only needed material. Accordingly, Tingle's Motion for Grand Jury material is denied.

         B. ...


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