Submitted: September 19, 2019
for Kent County
S. Hartman, Esquire
R. Garey, Esquire
Defendant's Motion to Suppress
consideration of Defendant Michael Palmer's (hereinafter
"Defendant") Motion to Suppress of and the
State's response, as well as the evidence and closing
arguments presented at the hearing held on September 19,
2019, the Court finds that the police had probable cause to
seize Defendant and search the Vehicle and the Package, and
therefore the motion to suppress is DENIED.
January 2019, a confidential informant relayed information to
Detective Joshua Boesenberg of the Dover Police Department
that Defendant was sending mail laced with controlled
substances to a Delaware Department of Correction facility
from 16 Evergreen Circle, Dover, Delaware (hereinafter
"the Residence"). The confidential informant also
informed Detective Boesenberg that Defendant was in
possession of firearms and that he lived at the Residence
with an individual named Jasmine Street. The police later
confirmed that the Residence was owned or leased by an
individual named Michael Street."
February 2019, Homeland Security Investigations (hereinafter
"HSI") Special Agent Sean Downey informed the Dover
Police Department as well as U.S. Postal Service officials in
Dover that Customs and Border Patrol had intercepted a U.S.
Postal Service package (hereinafter the "Package"),
addressed to the Residence, that contained illicit narcotics.
Law enforcement authorities arranged for the Package to be
delivered to the post office located at 55 Loockerman Plaza,
Dover, Delaware (hereinafter the "Post Office"),
where it would be provided to the recipient.
February 21, 2019, an individual later identified as Sheldon
Claud entered the Post Office and inquired about the Package.
A postal worker instructed Mr. Claud to call a general
information phone number to inquire further about the
Package. A call was made on the evening of February 21 to the
phone number that had been provided to Mr. Claud. On February
22, 2019, a postal service agent contacted the number from
which the inquiry had been made on the evening of February 21
and left information that the Package had been located and
could be picked up at the Post Office on February 22.
February 22, Detective Matthew Krough of the Dover Police
Department observed Defendant leave the Residence in a silver
Dodge Caravan (hereinafter the "Vehicle"). Later
that day, Detective Boesenberg and Special Agent Downey, who
were seated in a vehicle outside the Post Office, observed
the Vehicle enter the vicinity of the Post Office and park
nearby. Defendant was in the driver's seat, and an
individual later identified as Mr. Claud was in the
passenger's seat. Defendant then drove the Vehicle to the
other side of the Post Office. Detective Boesenberg and
Special Agent Downey, along with Master Corporal Jordan
Miller of the Dover Police Department, who was stationed on
the other side of the Post Office, believed that Defendant
and his passenger were engaging in counter-surveillance:
Defendant and Mr. Claud drove slowly around the Post Office,
remained inside the Vehicle, and eventually left the area.
Corporal Miller followed the Vehicle and observed Defendant
park in front of 30 South New Street, Dover, Delaware. Mr.
Claud exited the Vehicle, entered the building, and soon
returned with another unknown individual later identified as
Stanley Stanford. After Mr. Claud and Mr. Stanford entered
the Vehicle, Defendant drove back to the Post Office and
parked nearby. All three men exited the Vehicle but walked
separately as they entered the Post Office. A Postal Service
agent inside the Post Office texted Special Agent Downey,
informing him that someone had signed for the Package and was
now carrying it out of the building. Master Corporal Miller
observed Mr. Stanford carrying the Package, accompanied by
Defendant and Mr. Claud. Defendant, Mr. Stanford, and Mr.
Claud were taken into custody after they returned to the
Vehicle. Master Corporal Miller conducted a pat down search
of Defendant and recovered $6, 904.00 in cash.
Vehicle was impounded and searched. Law enforcement found the
Package inside the Vehicle with the narcotics previously
discovered by Customs and Border Patrol. Law enforcement also
recovered other illegal drugs, a firearm, other contraband,
and mail addressed to a Department of Correction facility
laced with narcotics.