United States v. Taylor

Docket NumberCriminal 19-303 (RBW)
Decision Date22 August 2023
PartiesUNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v. MARSHALL TAYLOR, Defendant.
CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION

REGGIE B. WALTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

The defendant, Marshall Taylor, is charged with three counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, see Indictment ¶¶ 1-16, ECF No. 3, and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1), see id. ¶¶ 17-18, related to an alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain “lines of credit from financial institutions that [were] used to purchase automobiles[,] id. ¶ 3. Currently pending before the Court are thirty-three pro se pre-trial motions filed by the defendant, which, for clarity, the Court will reference by the electronic case filing numbers automatically assigned by the Court's CM/ECF system:

1. Motion to Dismiss Counts 4 and 5 Aggr[a]vated Identity Theft 18 U[.]S[.]C[. §] 1028A([a])(1), ECF No. 131;
2. Motion to Dismiss Counts 1, 2, 3 of Wire Fraud 18 U.S.C[ §] 1343 of Indictment, ECF No. 133;
3. 105-10 Motion to Challenge the Grand Jury Array, ECF No 137;
4. Dismissal of Case Based on Insufficiency of Indictment 6th Amendment Violation and Grand Jury Challenge, ECF No. 138;
5. Writ of Violation of Right of Due Process and Not a Court of Record Thereby Dismissal, ECF No. 175;
6. Government Failure to Prove Knowledge of Aggr[a]vated Identity Theft 18 U[.]S[.]C[. §] 1028[A] a Dismissal ECF No. 176; 7. 4th Amendment Violation Tracking GPS Warrant, ECF No. 177;
8. Motion to Suppress Evidence Found on 4th Amendment Violation of Tracking Warrant, ECF No. 178;
9. Affidavit of Fact and Demand, ECF No. 179;
10. Affidavit of Averments, ECF No. 180;
11. Government Lack of Respon[s]e to Wire[] Fraud Challenge to Prove Transmi[ss]ion Left Pennsylvania Dismissal of Counts 1, 2, 3, ECF No. 181;
12. Dismissal of Indictment Under C.R.F.P[.] Rule 12 Defects in Pleading of Multiplicitous Counts, ECF No. 182;
13. Writ to Dismiss to Process in Rem for Lack of Minimum Contract, ECF No. 183;
14. Writ of Demand to Dismiss Counts 2, 3, 4 of Indictment Double Jeopardy Clause Violation, ECF No. 184;
15. Writ for Disclosure of Jen[c]ks Act Material and 18 U[.]S[.]C[. §] 3500, ECF No. 185;
16. Writ for Disclosure of Grand Jury Material Dismissal of Charges Racial Bias Grand Jury & Forepe[r]son, ECF No. 186;
17. Writ to Dismiss Indictment Based on Prosecution Misleading Grand[ ]Jury with Hearsay Not Informing Grand Jury Otherwise, ECF No. 187;
18. Subject Matter and General Jurisdictional Challenge and Dismissal, ECF No. 189;
19. Notice of Third Party Intervenor, ECF No. 191;
20. Writ for Polygraph Testing, ECF No. 192;
21. Writ of Dismissal of Case Defects in Pleadings Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction, ECF No. 196;
22. Writ of Dismissal Cestui Que, ECF No. 199;
23. Writ Defect of Pleading Indictment and Dismissal, ECF No. 200; 24. Respon[s]e Motion to Govemment[']s Omnibus Pretrial Motions, ECF No. 201;
25. Multiciplicity Counts Dismissal of Indictment, ECF No. 203;
26. Petitioner Motion in Limine to Exclude Certain Evidence, ECF No. 205;
27. Writ Lack of 3 Essential Elements of Wire Fraud 1343 in Indictment, ECF No. 214;
28. Writ of Modification of Release Conditions, ECF No. 215;
29. Affidavit of Violations of Constitutional & Universal Declaration of Rights, ECF No. 216;
30. Writ of Modification of Release Conditions, ECF No. 218;
31. Dismissal of 18 U[.]S[.]C[. §] 1343 Wire[ ]Fraud, ECF No. 221;
32. Emergency Writ for Hearing of Modification of Release Conditions,
ECF No. 223; and
33. Writ of Dismissal for Lack of Jurisdiction and Injured Party, ECF No. 224.

Upon careful consideration of the parties' submissions,[1] the Court concludes that it must (1) deny the defendant's motions to dismiss, see ECF No. 131; ECF No. 133; ECF No. 138; ECF No. 176; ECF No. 181; ECF No. 182; ECF No. 184; ECF No. 196; ECF No. 200; ECF No. 201; ECF No. 203; ECF No. 214; ECF No. 221; (2) grant in part and deny in part the defendant's motions seeking access to grand jury materials, see ECF No. 137; ECF No. 186; (3) deny the defendant's motions challenging the procedures before the grand jury, see ECF No. 138; ECF No. 186; ECF No. 187; (4) deny as moot in part and deny as premature in part the defendant's motion for disclosure of Brady and Jencks Act material, see ECF No. 185; (5) deny in part and deny without prejudice in part the defendant's motion in limine to exclude certain evidence, see ECF No. 205; (6) deny the defendant's motions to suppress evidence pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, see ECF No. 177; ECF No. 178; (7) deny the defendant's motions challenging this Court's jurisdiction to adjudicate his case, see ECF No. 175; ECF No. 179; ECF No. 189; ECF No. 201; ECF No. 224; (8) grant in part and otherwise deny in part the defendant's motions for modification of his conditions of pretrial release, see ECF No. 215; ECF No. 216; ECF No. 218; ECF No. 223; and (9) deny the defendant's remaining motions, see ECF No. 180; ECF No. 183; ECF No. 191; ECF No. 192; ECF No. 199.

I. BACKGROUND

On September 25, 2019, a grand jury issued the Indictment in this case, charging the defendant with three counts of wire fraud, see Indictment ¶¶ 1-16, and two counts of aggravated identity theft, see id. ¶¶ 17-18. According to the Indictment, the defendant “visited automobile dealerships in the Western District of Pennsylvania [area] and websites associated with automobile dealerships in order to shop for automobiles[,] id. ¶ 2, including Jim Shorkey North Hills Chrysler Dodge and Ram[,] id. ¶ 6; “LW Automotive[,] id. ¶¶ 7, 9, 12; “A&L Motor Sales[,] id. ¶ 8; “Pittsburgh Auto Depot[,] id. ¶¶ 10, 11; and Jim Shorkey Mitsubishi[,] id. ¶ 13. In order to obtain “lines of credit from financial institutions that could be used to purchase automobiles[,] the defendant allegedly “submitted applications through the dealerships, including through [the dealerships'] websites[.] Id. ¶ 3. On these applications, the defendant purportedly represented “that he was employed by and earned a salary from companies that, as he then well knew, did not employ him and did not exist.” Id. ¶ 4. He also allegedly “provided the dealerships and financial institutions with a social security number that he represented was his social security number, but that, as he then well knew, was not his true social security number.” Id. ¶ 5. According to the Indictment, “by means of these false and fraudulent pretenses and representations,” the defendant “obtained funds from one or more of the financial institutions” to which he submitted applications, “which he then used to purchase automobiles from one or more of the dealerships.” Id. ¶ 14.

The defendant was arrested on February 4, 2020, in the Western District of North Carolina, see Arrest of Marshall Taylor (Feb. 4, 2020), and had his initial appearance in this District before Chief Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy on March 4, 2020, see Record of Magistrate's Proceedings at 1 (Mar. 4, 2020), ECF No. 15. Christopher M. Capozzi was appointed counsel for the defendant pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, on March 2, 2020, see Order Appointing Counsel at 1 (Mar. 2, 2020), ECF No. 13, and entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of the defendant during the arraignment on March 4, 2020, see Arraignment Plea at 1, ECF No. 19. The case was assigned to Judge Donetta W. Ambrose. See Text Order (Mar. 5, 2020), ECF No. 22.

On July 22, 2020, Mr. Capozzi filed two pre-trial motions on the defendant's behalf, seeking (1) the dismissal of the Indictment as insufficiently specific, see Motion to Dismiss Indictment (with Citation to Authority) at 1, ECF No. 61; and (2) the suppression of “the identifications of the [d]efendant[,] Motion to Suppress (with Citation to Authority) (“Def.'s Mot. to Suppress) at 5, ECF No. 62. On October 14, 2020, Judge Ambrose issued a Memorandum Order, concluding that “the Indictment is sufficient” because it “sets forth the statute charged, the time period of when the violations occurred, and [ ] enough facts to allow [the d]efendant to prepare his defense[,] Memorandum Order of Court at 3 (Oct. 14, 2020), ECF No. 89, and scheduling a hearing to address the defendant's motion to suppress, see id. at 5.

On August 9, 2021, defense counsel Capozzi filed a motion to withdraw as counsel, representing that counsel and the [d]efendant [we]re no longer able to carry[ ]on meaningful and productive communication concerning the relevant facts and circumstances, or even the status, direction, and tempo of the case pending against the [d]efendant[,] Motion to Withdraw (with Citation to Authority) ¶ 4, ECF No. 111, and that “the nature, content[,] and tone of the [defendant's most recent letter to counsel was tantamount to a letter of termination[,]id. ¶ 5. Thereafter, on August 13, 2021, the defendant filed a motion to proceed pro se. See Proceed in Propria Persona and for Extension of Time to File Pre-Trial Motions at 1, ECF No. 113. On September 15, 2023, following a hearing, Judge Ambrose granted both motions, see Text Order (Sept. 15, 2021), ECF No. 117, and appointed Damien Schorr as standby counsel for the defendant, see Order Appointing Counsel at 1 (Sept. 15, 2021), ECF No. 118.

On September 24, 2021, the defendant, now proceeding pro se, filed a motion to dismiss the Indictment for lack of jurisdiction, see Verified[ ]Show Cause Denial of Jurisdiction at 1, ECF No. 121, which Judge Ambrose denied on November 4, 2021, see Memorandum Order of Court at 1 (Nov. 4, 2021), ECF No. 126. From December 17, 2021, to January 17, 2022, the defendant filed four additional pro se pre-trial motions, which are currently pending before the Court, see ECF No. 131...

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