United States v. Hill

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Criminal Practice

, New York Law Journal

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Judge Richard Arcara

Hill's indictment as being a felon in possession of a firearm arose from an incident in a casino where he became involved in an argument with other patrons, and was found to have a gun and ammunition. District court denied Hill's motion to reopen an evidentiary hearing at which a magistrate judge found the government entitled to present his prior felony conviction. That same magistrate's later Feb. 15, 2013, report recommended denial of Hill's motion to suppress evidence for lack of reasonable suspicion or probable cause. The magistrate credited testimony by state police investigator Sortisio that casino employee Molino informed him that a patron complained that Hill had threatened her and others with a gun and threatened to shoot and rob the casino. The magistrate further credited Sortisio's testimony that Hill "stood-up" in a manner that made Sortisio uncomfortable and that Hill reached into a pocket as trying to reach for or hand-off a weapon. Adopting the magistrate judge's report, district court denied suppression. In addition to adopting the magistrate judge's credibility and factual findings district court, on de novo review, found that the magistrate correctly determined that there was reasonable suspicion to stop and frisk.

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