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United States v. Hagstrom

United States District Court, District of New Hampshire

May 22, 2014

United States of America, Government
v.
Jon Hagstrom, Defendant Opinion No. 2014 DNH 018

Steven J. McAuliffe, United States District Judge

Debra M. Walsh, AUSA Robert M. Kinsella, AUSA Brett A. Greenfield, Esq.

Brian M. Quirk, Esq.

David E. Kenner, Esq.

Michael D. Ramsdell Esq.

ORDER

Steven J. McAuliffe United States District Judge

Defendant has moved to suppress evidence obtained during a consensual search of his baggage and briefcase, as well as statements he voluntarily made, after his chartered private jet aircraft was stopped and he was detained by police officers at Hanscom Field in Massachusetts. He asserts that the investigative detention (a "Terry"[1] stop) was not based upon reasonable suspicion supported by articulable facts, and so was constitutionally infirm. Defendant also moves to suppress evidence later obtained during a search of his home pursuant to a warrant issued, in large part, on the basis of incriminating evidence and statements obtained following the challenged Terry stop. All of the inculpatory evidence against him, defendant contends, is fruit of the unlawful initial stop and so cannot be admitted in evidence against him. An evidentiary hearing on the motions to suppress was held at which the government presented witnesses.

For the reasons discussed, defendant's motions to suppress are denied.

Facts

David Faria, an experienced narcotics detective with the Los Angeles, California, Sheriff's Department, testified that Barry Hall, a friend and colleague who worked in the Homicide Bureau, received information from Jason Wright (a friend of Hall's and an engineer) regarding apparent illegal drug activity. Because the information was related to drug activity, Hall referred Wright to Detective Faria, providing Faria with Wright's contact information.

Detective Faria spoke to Wright in a telephone conversation that took place on July 31, 2008. Wright told Detective Faria that a female co-worker had confided in him that she knew about drug activity that her boyfriend was involved in, was uncomfortable about it, and was afraid to contact law enforcement. Wright shared with Faria the details of what his co-worker told him. She said her boyfriend traveled on a private charter jet flight to the east coast in February with a male named Jon Hagstrom. The boyfriend was nervous about going with Hagstrom because Hagstrom was involved in distributing narcotics across the United States. The boyfriend told her that if he did not return, or disappeared, it was because he was assisting Hagstrom in transporting narcotics to the Boston, Massachusetts, area. The boyfriend said that Hagstrom chartered private jets from Clay Lacy Aviation, and flew from the Van Nuys Airport in California. The trips were said to commonly occur once a month.

Wright identified himself, the female co-worker, and the boyfriend. He also provided an address and phone number for "John Hagstrom, " and related that Hagstrom usually had approximately $2-4 million in a safe at his residence.

Detective Faria conducted a background check on Wright and learned that he had no criminal record. He also confirmed the address given to him as Jon Hagstrom's. He called the phone number provided by Wright and confirmed that a male named Jon answered, and that the voicemail feature was also answered by a male named Jon. In addition, Faria examined a financial report related to Hagstrom, developed by the Sheriff Department's Asset Forfeiture Unit. The report noted that cash deposits to a soccer supply business associated with Hagstrom looked like "structured deposits, " and "weren't typical deposits that would be for a business of that type." Faria also determined that the soccer business, "Soccer Locker, " appeared to be closed.

Detective Faria also visited Clay Lacy Aviation, in Van Nuys, where company managers told him that Jon Hagstrom had chartered private jets approximately three times for round trips to the east coast. The ...


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