U.S. v. Williams, 00 CR. 1008(NRB).

CourtUnited States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
Writing for the CourtBuchwald
Citation181 F.Supp.2d 267
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, v. Xavier WILLIAMS, a/k/a "Xavier Torres", a/k/a "X," a/k/a "Richie Torres," Elijah Bobby Williams, a/k/a "Bobby Torres," a/k/a "Bosco," Michael Williams, a/k/a "David Michael Torres," a/k/a "Mike Torres," a/k/a "Mike Foster," Kelly Rolon a/k/a "Alexus Quinones," Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. 00 CR. 1008(NRB).,00 CR. 1008(NRB).
Decision Date18 December 2001

Nicole LeBarbara, Esq., Assistant United States Attorney, New York City, for the United States.

Michael Young, Esq., New York City, Harry J. Trainor Jr., Esq., Knight, Manzi, Nussbaum & LaPlaca, P.A., Upper Malboro, MD, for Xavier Williams.

Jonathan Marks, Esq., New York City, David A. Ruhnke, Esq., Montclair, NJ, for Elijah Bobby Williams.

Richard B. Lind, Esq., New York City, Cathy L. Waldor, Esq., Waldor & Carlesimo, West Orange, NJ, for Michael Williams.

Robert M. Baum, Esq., Federal Defender Office, New York City, for Kelly Rolon.


BUCHWALD, District Judge.

The four defendants in this case were indicted on September 26, 2000 on multiple counts, including, inter alia, narcotics trafficking, racketeering, and murder. The Government alleges that they were all members of a criminal enterprise referred to in the Indictment as the "Torres Organization."1

Before the Court are numerous pre-trial motions by the defendants. On October 16-17 and 30-31, 2001, and on November 1, 2001, the Court held evidentiary hearings in regard to several of these motions. The Court heard testimony from Detectives James Cvetic and Gary Tallant of the Allegheny County Police Department as well as from Special Agent Robert Ryan of the Internal Revenue Service. No defendant testified at these hearings, nor did any defendant call any witnesses. The findings of fact herein are based upon the testimony adduced at these hearings and we dispose of the defendants' motions2 as follows:

A. Michael and Xavier Williams's motions to suppress evidence seized from their apartments at 5631 Rippey Street in Pittsburgh on or about February 21, 1996 are denied.

B. Xavier Williams's motions to suppress evidence seized from his Toyota Land Cruiser and his person on or about March 1, 1996 are denied.

C. Xavier Williams's motions to suppress evidence seized from his apartment at 1609 East 174th Street in the Bronx and from his Nissan Maxima on or about September 28, 2000 are denied.

D. Xavier Williams's motion to suppress evidence seized from his Lincoln Navigator on or about November 2, 2000 is denied.

E. Michael Williams's motion to suppress a post-arrest statement he made on March 22, 1996 is granted.

F. Elijah Bobby Williams's motion to suppress a post-arrest statement he made on April 21, 1996 is denied.

G. Michael Williams's motion to dismiss Counts Five, Six, and Seven of the Indictment is denied.

H. Xavier Williams's motion to dismiss Count Three and Racketeering Act 1 of Count One of the Indictment is denied.

I. Xavier and Michael Williams's motions to compel the Government to provide the defendants with a bill of particulars is denied.

J. Xavier and Michael Williams's motions to compel certain discovery is denied in part and granted in part.

K. Xavier Williams's motion to hold government prosecutors in contempt is denied.

L. Xavier Williams's motion for an order mandating the return of certain items seized from him is denied.

M. Michael Williams's motion for severance is denied.

N. Kelly Rolon's motion for severance is granted.


The defendants are accused of being members of a narcotics trafficking organization responsible for various acts of violence, including murder. Indictment at 3. Xavier Williams and Elijah Bobby Williams are brothers, and Michael Williams is Elijah Bobby Williams's son.3 Kelly Rolon is Xavier Williams's wife. A lengthy investigation conducted primarily by the New York Police Department ("NYPD") and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms ("ATF") led to a grand jury returning a 17-count indictment. Because the Williams defendants are accused, in Counts Five, Six, and Seven, of crimes for which the death penalty may be sought, each has been appointed two attorneys, one of whom is "learned in the law applicable to capital cases" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 3005.

A. Motions to Suppress the Fruits of the Searches of the Rippey Street Apartments

In connection with their investigation of the triple homicide of February 18, 1996 the Allegheny County Police Department obtained and executed a search warrant for three apartments located near the scene of the shootings. These apartments were leased by the Williams defendants, and the search produced narcotics, firearms, and other evidence which the Government presumably intends to introduce at trial. Transcript of Suppression Hearing held November 1, 2001 ("11/1 Tr.") at 3; Gov't Opp. at 5. Defendants Xavier Williams and Michael Williams move to suppress the fruits of the searches of apartments B-3 and C-2, respectively, at 5361 Rippey Street in Pittsburgh (the "Rippey Street apartments"). Xavier Williams's Memorandum of Law ("X.W.Mem.") at 1; Michael Williams's Memorandum of Law ("M.W.Mem.") at 3. Elijah Bobby Williams has not moved to suppress the fruits of the search of apartment C-5.

1. Facts

On February 21, 1996, Detective Tallant drafted an affidavit (the "Tallant affidavit") in support of an application for a warrant to search the Rippey Street apartments. 11/1 Tr. at 6-7.4 He did not consult any prosecutors from the District Attorney's Office or anywhere else for drafting assistance. Id. at 9. Det. Cvetic reviewed the affidavit, and then they both swore to it before a night court magistrate. Id. at 21-22. The Tallant affidavit reads as follows:

Your affiants are Detectives assigned to the Homicide Unit of the Allegheny County Police Department. All of the information contained in this affidavit was learned directly by your affiants, or relayed to your affiants by other police officers involved in this investigation.

On the evening of February 18, 1996, the Wilkinsburg Police Department requested investigative assistance from the Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit. This request was in regards [sic] to a recent shooting incident that occurred in the 1100 block of Sperling Street in Wilkinsburg. It was subsequently learned that there were three (3) victims in this case, and all of the shooting victims were pronounced dead at the scene by Emergency Medical Personnel. The victims were all shot while seated in a parked 1982 Ford Bronco. The victims were Timothy A. Moore, B/M/25, Joel MOORE, B/M/19, and Robert JAMES, B/M/33. The investigation revealed that two armed suspects approached the victim's vehicle, and that the suspects then fired numerous gunshots into the victim's [sic].

During the course of this investigation, it was learned that the three victims were involved in drug related activities. It was also learned that the victims had made a recent drug deal(s) with individuals known to frequent the Wilkinsburg/East Liberty Section of Allegheny County.

Numerous interviews have been conducted in this case. The identity of these witnesses is known to your affiants. These witnesses will be available to testify at any necessary court proceedings. It was collectively learned through these witnesses that several days prior to the shooting incident, Timothy MOORE (victim), made a crack cocaine drug deal with individuals that he knew as "BOB" and "MIKE". Bob and Mike previously indicated that they were brothers, and they were from New York. It was learned that the drug deals in question were set up through the use of telephone pagers. The telephone pager numbers for Bob and Mike were # 574-5647 and # 574-1745 respectively.

It was learned that during the investigation that "Bob" had a home telephone number of # 661-4862. This telephone number is listed to a David Michael TORRES of 5631 Rippey Street, Apt. C-2, Pittsburgh, PA 15206. This apartment is located in the East Liberty Section of Pittsburgh. The age of Torres is consistent with the approx. age of "Bob" (as given by various witnesses).

The investigation revealed that on the evening in question, the victims agreed to meet with BOB and MIKE in Wilkinsburg to settle a drug related debt. It was reported that Tim MOORE had previously paid Bob and/or Mike approx. $2,300 for crack cocaine, but that Moore was not given any drugs in return for the money. The victims were to meet Bob and Mike at approx. 8:30 PM (2-18-96) in a parking lot of a Texaco Gas Station in Wilkinsburg. The purpose of the meeting was to resolve the dispute over the aforementioned crack cocaine deal. Witnesses indicated that the victim's departed from the New Stanton area of Westmoreland County for Wilkinsburg at approx. 8:00 PM. It should be noted that the planned meeting place for the drug deal was in close proximity to the shooting scene.

During the investigation, your affiant learned through witnesses that the suspects, (BOB/MIKE) lived in the area of Rippey Street in the East Liberty Section of Pittsburgh. It was also learned that Bob and Mike lived with a relative known as "X". The investigation revealed that David MICHAEL TORRES resides at 5631 Rippey Street, Apt. C-2 and that two relatives lived at that same address. These relatives are Robert TORRES, AKA "BOB" Torres, and Xavier TORRES. Robert Torres lives in apartment # C-5, while Xavier resides in apartment B-3.

During a recent surveillance of the apartment building in question, a vehicle was found to be parked in front of the structure. This vehicle had a New York license plates [sic] affixed to it. The description of this car was consistent with the description of the suspect car that was observed fleeing the shooting scene.

Based on the above facts and circumstances, your affiants respectfully request a Search Warrant for the...

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