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United States v. Wright

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division

December 19, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
TYRONE M. WRIGHT

          OPINION AND ORDER

          THERESA L. SPRINGMANN JUDGE

         The Defendant, Tyrone M. Wright, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and § 924(e). He moved to dismiss allegations contained in the Superseding Indictment [ECF No. 26]. Separately, the Defendant moved to suppress statements, and that Motion [ECF No. 22] was referred to Magistrate Judge Susan Collins. Judge Collins issued a Report and Recommendation [ECF No. 82] denying the Defendant's Motion. For the reasons stated below, the Court denies the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and adopts the Report and Recommendation denying the Defendant's Motion to Suppress.

         BACKGROUND

         On May 27, 2015, the Government filed a one-count Indictment [ECF No. 1], superseded on October 28, 2015, charging the Defendant with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). The one-count Superseding Indictment charged the Defendant with possessing a firearm on or about March 25, 2015. The Government also charged the Defendant under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), which provides, in relevant part: “[i]n the case of a person who violates section 922(g) of this title and has three previous convictions . . . for a violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both, committed on occasions different from one another, such person shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than fifteen years.” The Superseding Indictment included the following predicate offenses for an enhanced punishment under § 924(e):

On or about September 24, 2007, the [D]efendant was convicted in the Superior Court of Allen County, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in Cause No. 02D04-0703-FC-48, of Battery, a Class C Felony, and Burglary, a Class B Felony; and
On or about January 3, 2001, the [D]efendant was convicted in the Superior Court of Allen County, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in Cause No. 02D04-0006-CF-320, of Dealing in Cocaine or Narcotic Drug, a Class B Felony; and
On or about February 10, 1994, the [D]efendant was convicted in the St. Joseph County Superior Court, South Bend, Indiana, in Cause No. 71D019306CF00562, of Conspiracy to Deal in Cocaine and Dealing in Cocaine, a Class B Felony.

(Superseding Indictment 1, ECF No. 26.)

         On October 21, 2015, the Defendant filed a Motion to Suppress Statements, arguing that they were taken in violation of the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The Government filed its Response in Opposition [ECF No. 35] on November 30, 2015. In addition, the Defendant requested an evidentiary hearing on his Motion, which Judge Collins conducted on June 8, 2016. After the hearing, the parties submitted additional briefing on the Motion. On October 21, 2016, Judge Collins issued her Report and Recommendation in which she recommended that the Defendant's Motion be denied. Neither party filed an objection to the Report and Recommendation within the time specified for doing so.

         On August 25, 2016, the Defendant moved to dismiss the 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) allegations contained in the Superseding Indictment. Citing to recent United States Supreme Court decisions in Samuel Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), and Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), the Defendant argued that he lacked the requisite number of violent felonies as defined under the ACCA to receive an enhancement. The Government argued that Johnson did not invalidate the Defendant's convictions for ACCA enhancement purposes. Neither party asserted that an evidentiary hearing was required for the Court to rule on the Defendant's Motion.

         MOTION TO DISMISS

         The Defendant challenges the use of his 2007 conviction as a predicate offense under the ACCA. In the Superseding Indictment, the 2007 conviction stated:

On or about September 24, 2007, the [D]efendant was convicted in the Superior Court of Allen County, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in Cause No. 02D04-0703-FC-48, of Battery, a Class C Felony, and Burglary, a Class B Felony

(Superseding Indictment 1.) If either his conviction for Battery or Burglary qualifies as a predicate offense under the ACCA, then the Court will deny the Defendant's Motion to ...


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