Defense submits motion to dismiss federal explosives charges against Clarkston man | Crime
Following a hearing in U.S. District Court yesterday, Judge Lonny Suko has taken a motion to dismiss federal explosives charges and a motion to suppress evidence against a 22-year-old Clarkston man "under advisement."
Joey Brice pled guilty in September to manufacturing an explosive device and attempting to provide material assistance to terrorists. He faces up to 15 years in prison when sentenced on June 6th. Authorities began to investigate Brice after he suffered serious injuries from a bomb he made that exploded in April of 2010 just west of the Red Wolf Bridge. Federal investigators say they later learned that Brice posted videos advocating suicide bombings and instructions on how to make explosive devices.
Matthew Campbell of Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho filed the motions on behalf of Brice last month, claiming that his client's Sixth Amendment right to counsel was violated, as were his attorney-client and work-product privileges. He is asking the court to suppress evidence seized from Brice's jail cell at the Spokane County Jail on May 18, 2012.
"That search was performed without a search warrant or any form of court authorization. No special master, or similar neutral party, was used to perform the search, nor was consent given by Mr. Brice authorizing the search" Campbell stated in court documents.
Campbell also stated the U.S. Attorney's Office had access to the materials seized from Brice's jail cell for approximately four days before he learned of the search. "This four day delay occurred because when Mr. Brice’s cell was searched, he was transferred to 6-East, the most restrictive area in the Spokane County Jail. Mr. Brice had immediately asked to call undersigned counsel. That request was refused. Mr. Brice was not allowed to make a single phone call until four days later."
Campbell also stated that the search of the jail cell itself constitutes "outrageous government conduct" which entitles his client to dismissal of the indictment against him. "A court may dismiss an indictment when outrageous government conduct in conducting a criminal investigation deprives a defendant of due process under the Fifth Amendment," according to the court documents.
In the alternative, Campbell argued that other sanctions are appropriate including all evidence obtained from Brice’s jail cell should be suppressed because it was obtained in violation of the Sixth Amendment; the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington should be removed from the case because it has "wrongfully learned information about strategy and other privileged information which it was not entitled to learn" and "removing that office as counsel for the Government is necessary, in order to remove the taint caused by the violation of privilege described herein;" the United States Probation Office for the Eastern District of Washington should be removed from the case; and the court should recuse itself from sentencing.
Sentencing was scheduled for June 5th, but was moved to June 6th during yesterday's hearing.