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United States v. Eads

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

November 8, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRISTOPHER JUSTIN EADS Defendant.

          ENTRY ON PENDING MOTIONS

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE.

         Before the Court are several motions filed by pro se Defendant Christopher Eads concerning the return of property. Eads has filed an Emergency Motion to Compel the United States to Comply with this Court's Order to Return Property Dkt. [222], a Motion to Transfer the Bersa Handgun to a Third Party, Dkt. [224], a Motion to Compel the United States to Return Eads' Android Brand Cell Phone and Protective Case, Dkt. [232], and a Motion for Return of Property Under Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 41(g), Dkt. [234]. For the reasons explained below, each of the Motions are denied.

         I. DISCUSSION

         Following a four-day trial ending on February 24, 2012, Eads was convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography and tampering with a potential witness, and was sentenced to 480 months imprisonment. Following a hearing on a motion for new trial and the denial of that motion on May 4, 2012, Eads' conviction was affirmed on appeal in United States v. Eads, 729 F.3d 769, 771-72 (7th Cir. 2013). On June 5, 2012, the Court granted a Preliminary Order of Forfeiture forfeiting Eads' interest in “various computer equipment” and other property Dkt. [138]. On June 20, 2014, the Court granted a Final Order of Forfeiture regarding certain property Dkt. [189]. Thereafter, Eads and his wife, Rachael Smith, filed several motions for return of certain property, which included the return of a Bersa Handgun and Android brand cell phones, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g). Dkt. [194], Dkt. [195], Dkt. [196]. This rule can also be invoked after criminal proceedings have concluded to recover the defendant's property when the property is no longer needed as evidence-unless, of course, it has been forfeited in the course of those proceedings. Okoro v. Callaghan, 324 F.3d 488, 490 (7th Cir. 2003).

         On July 26, 2017, this Court ordered that the United States return certain property to Harry Eads - a third-party selected by Eads and his wife. Dkt. [208]. The Court specifically denied the return of the Black Bersa handgun because that handgun was the subject of a civil forfeiture action. In compliance with the Court's Order, on October 10, 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation timely released the following items to Harry Eads:

• Three Android brand cell phones (Pantech Cellular telephone, model P7040, SN ending: 5571 and charger; Samsung Z400 Phone, VDN ending: 0530; and LG T-Mobile Phone with power cord; Cell phone Box - LG G2x T-Mobile with receipt);
• Digital media storage devices (various burned CD's/DVDS; One CD/DVD; Three DVDs);
• Filing Box and documents (Black Plastic Box with documents; Comcast and IPL bills in the name of Christopher Eads; Documents; One yellow paper with handwriting);
• Various letters and envelopes;
• Various photographs;
• Jazz DV140 Video recorder with S.D. Card;
• Vivtar Vivicam 9112 Digital Camera w/ S.D. Card;
• Five striped towels;
• One men's silver ...

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