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United States v. Tomes

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

February 10, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
(4) ALBERT TOMES; (5) TINA TOMES; and (6) KEVIN VICKERS, Defendants.

ORDER

MARTIN REIDINGER, District Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Motion to Suppress filed by Defendant Tina Tomes and adopted by Defendants Albert Tomes and Kevin Vickers [Doc. 59]; the Magistrate Judge's Memorandum and Recommendation regarding that motion [Doc. 124]; and Defendant Tina Tomes's Objections to the Memorandum and Recommendation [Doc. 127].

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On June 19, 2013, the above-referenced Defendants were charged along with others in a 12-count Bill of Indictment with, inter alia, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of "synthetic cathinones" or a-PVP, a Schedule I controlled substance analogue, knowing that the substance was intended for human consumption, in violation of 21 U.S.C. ยงยง 846 and 841(a)(1). [Doc. 3]. A Superseding Bill of Indictment was filed on December 19, 2013, adding additional charges against these Defendants. [Doc. 106]. The Defendants are currently scheduled for trial during the March 3, 2014 trial term.

On August 7, 2013, Defendant Tina Tomes filed a motion to suppress all evidence obtained through searches of her business, residence, and shed. [Doc. 59]. After receiving an extension of time to do so, the Government filed its Response in opposition to the Motion on September 9, 2013. [Doc. 86]. Defendants Albert Tomes and Kevin Vickers moved to join in the suppression motion [Docs. 83, 85], which the Court allowed [Docs. 89, 90].

On December 5, 2013, the Honorable David C. Keesler, United States Magistrate Judge, conducted an evidentiary hearing on the motion to suppress. On January 10, 2014, the Magistrate Judge issued a Memorandum and Recommendation, recommending that the motion to suppress be denied. [Doc. 124]. Defendant Tina Tomes timely filed Objections to the Memorandum and Recommendation on January 26, 2014. [Doc. 127].

This matter is now ripe for review.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A district court may refer a motion to suppress to a magistrate judge for a recommendation pursuant to Rule 59(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Court must consider any objection to the magistrate judge's recommendation de novo. Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3).

In order "to preserve for appeal an issue in a magistrate judge's report, a party must object to the finding or recommendation on that issue with sufficient specificity so as reasonably to alert the district court of the true ground for the objection." United States v. Midgette , 478 F.3d 616, 622 (4th Cir. 2007). The Court need not conduct a de novo review where a party makes only "general and conclusory objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate's proposed findings and recommendations." Orpiano v. Johnson> , 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982).

III. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The Defendants make no objection to the factual background as recited by the Magistrate Judge in the Memorandum and Recommendation. Upon careful examination of the record, the Court finds that the Magistrate Judge's findings of fact as set forth in pages 6 through 10 of the Memorandum and Recommendation are correct and deserving of adoption by this Court. These findings are therefore adopted and incorporated herein.

IV. DISCUSSION

In her first objection to the Memorandum and Recommendation, Defendant Tina Tomes contends that the Magistrate Judge erred in concluding that the information presented in the warrant applications provided probable cause to believe that a-PVP "is, ...


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