United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Bluefield
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. Faber, Senior United States District Judge.
before the court is Windel Lester's motion for production
of records pursuant to Rule 17(c) of the Federal Rules of
Criminal Procedure. ECF No. 179. For the reasons stated
herein, the motion is DENIED for lack of
Lester, along with others, has been named in 30 counts of a
40-count Second Superseding Indictment, which charges wire
fraud, conspiracy to use and the use of fire in the
commission of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money
laundering, and unlawful monetary transactions. ECF No. 142.
Each charge stems from three alleged schemes to defraud
insurers by filing false insurance claims and collecting
proceeds after purchasing and setting fire to homes located
in Matoaka, Huntington, and Ikes Fork, West Virginia. See
Bledsoe is an unindicted co-conspirator who allegedly
assisted in setting the fire to the Matoaka property, filing
an insurance claim, and collecting insurance proceeds. On
March 14, 2018, Dudley Bledsoe came before this court and
pled guilty to an Information which charged him with one
count of unlawful monetary transactions in violation of 18
U.S.C. §§ 1957 and 2. See United States v.
Bledsoe, 1:18-cr-00035, ECF No. 11. This charge related
to the receipt of insurance proceeds after the fire on the
Matoaka property. Thus, defendant contends that Bledsoe will
serve as a pivotal witness in the government's
for Lester requests that this court issue a Rule 17(c)
subpoena ordering the production of Bledsoe's
pharmaceutical records from three (3) pharmacies and
Bledsoe's social security disability records from the
Social Security Administration in advance of trial. ECF No.
179. Counsel for Bledsoe, Jeffrey Simpkins orally conferred
his opposition to the requests to Lester's counsel.
Id. at ¶ 2.
grounds for the motion, Lester states Bledsoe's
“competency and credibility are at issue.”
Id. at ¶ 8. Specifically, the motion alleges
that these records will demonstrate the basis for
Bledsoe's social security award as well as Bledsoe's
drug usage and abuse. Id. at ¶ 3. Lester's
Reply Brief attaches an affidavit from Misty Lee, a clerk at
Lester's Home Center stating:
(1) Bledsoe has cashed social security checks at Lester Home
Center for approximately nine years which include
Bledsoe's wife as payee; and
(2) Bledsoe has stated “I am crazy and have papers to
prove it” and that “I have to go to the crazy
ECF No. 184-1.
government also opposes issuance of the subpoena.
See ECF No. 180. Regarding the social security
records, the government asserts that the requested subpoena
amounts to a fishing expedition, the requests are not
relevant to any issue at trial, and Bledsoe's receipt of
social security benefits will not overcome his competency.
Additionally, the government states Bledsoe's
pharmaceutical records are inadmissible as Bledsoe has no
felony drug convictions that are admissable under Federal
Rule of Evidence 609. Id.
17(c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provides in
A subpoena may order the witness to produce any books,
papers, documents, data, or other objects the subpoena
designates. The court may direct the witness to produce the
designated items in court before trial or before they are to
be offered in evidence. When the items arrive, the court may