United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MICHAEL JOHN ALOI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Yarai Fuentes
Quinones' motion to suppress physical evidence filed on
March 19, 2018. (ECF No. 108). The United States of America
(hereinafter “Government”) filed a response in
opposition to the motion on March 22, 2018. (ECF No. 114). On
March 26, 2018, the undersigned held a hearing on the motion.
Defendants Meylan Montalvo Gomez, Yarai Fuentes Quinones,
Naudi Reyes Fernandez, Yosan Pons Sosa, and Lazaro Serrano
Diaz, appeared in person and by their counsel, Thomas G.
Dyer, L. Richard Walker, David W. Frame, Brandon S. Flower,
and Michael J. Sharley, respectively. The Government appeared
by Assistant United States Attorney, Jarod Douglas. Johnny
Benningfield, a certified court interpreter, also appeared.
the hearing, the Government presented the testimony of West
Virginia State Police Corporal David W. Simmons, Cabell
County Circuit Court Judge Gregory L. Howard, and West
Virginia State Police Trooper Austin Farmer. Defendants
Meylan Montalvo Gomez and Yosan Pons Sosa also testified.
Additionally, the undersigned admitted Government Exhibits
1-4 (a copy of the affidavit and complaint for the search
warrant at issue; a copy of the signed search warrant and
list of seized property, an email from Cpl. Simmons to
Trooper Farmer and unsigned copy of the affidavit, complaint
for search warrant and search warrant; and a copy of the
signed search warrant and list of seized property).
were indicted by a grand jury attending the United States
District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on
December 5, 2017, charging Defendants with access device
fraud offenses. After initial appearances and arraignments,
Defendants Montalvo Gomez, Reyes Fernandez and Serrano Diaz
were detained, while Defendants Fuentes Quinones and Pons
Sosa were released on bond subject to certain conditions of
release. Fuentes Quinones now moves the Court to suppress the
physical evidence seized during the execution of an October
23, 2017, search warrant of room 202 at the Holiday Inn Hotel
in Huntington, West Virginia, the hotel where Defendants were
residing as guests.
addition to Defendant Fuentes Quinones' pending motion to
suppress (ECF NO. 108) are four motions to join
Defendant's motion. (ECF Nos. 109, 110, 111, 112). During
the suppression hearing the Government did not dispute the
Defendants' request to join. Accordingly, the undersigned
GRANTED Defendants' motions to the extent of solely
joining Defendant Fuentes Quinones' motion.
Court is not persuaded by Defendant Fuentes Quinones'
motion and recommends that it be DENIED.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
the testimony of the witnesses credible, the undersigned
deduced the following facts after considering the
parties' motions and responses and all the evidence and
testimony that was provided to the Court during the
about October 2017, an investigation into unauthorized
credit/debit card transactions was being conducted by the
West Virginia State Police (hereinafter “WVSP”),
United States Attorney's Office and the Monongalia County
Sherriff's Department. On October 19th and
20th of 2017, the WVSP received complaints from
two individuals regarding unauthorized use of their debit
cards. After reviewing video surveillance from the
establishments where these unauthorized transactions took
place, a Nissan Versa bearing a Maryland license plate and
multiple suspects were seen. The vehicle was registered to
All Car Leasing, Inc.
October 23, 2018, Cpl. Simmons, a WVSP officer involved in
the investigation received a federal grand jury subpoena
return from All Car Leasing, providing him with records on
the Nissan Versa. The rental agreement showed Defendant
Montalvo Gomez had rented the vehicle on October 18, 2017,
from the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. A
license plate reader inquiry revealed that the Nissan Versa
passed mile marker 150 on Interstate-79 South on October 19,
2017, at 5:27 p.m. GPS coordinates revealed that on October
23, 2017, the Nissan Versa was located at 800 3rd Avenue,
Huntington, West Virginia, later determined to be a parking
area for a Holiday Inn Hotel. Cpl. Simmons relayed this
information to WVSP Sgt. Barry Wellman and Cpl. Tippett of
the Huntington Detachment, who later confirmed that the
Nissan Versa and a black ...