Federal Jury Acquits Calvin Warren of Felon in Possession of a Weapon Charges

A jury of 12 Miami Dade County Citizens found that the prosecution failed to prove the single criminal charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on April 29, 2010. Attorneys David Tucker (left) of Tucker & Kotler, P.A. and Brian Baraka, (left) of Barakat, Jacobs & Associates, P.L. joined forces to defend Mr. Warren before the Honorable Alan S. Gold.

Mr. Warren was alleged to have been riding his bicycle south on NW 5th Avenue in Overtown when members of the City of Miami Police Department’s Problem Solving Team or PST noticed that he had no light on his bike. Despite that fact that the street was well lit, three police cars and five officers made a u-turn to apprehend this young man. A chase ensued that lead police vehicles over curbs, through parks and front yards. Finally, one officer alleges that he saw Mr. Warren throw a gun on a roof.

However, DNA testing revealed that although more than one person had touched this gun, none of those people were Calvin Warren. Fingerprints were inconclusive. Mr. Warren was charged in State Court and appointed a public defender. Then members of the PST approached the department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (“ATF”) and requested that this case be taken Federal to gain the benefit of a 15 year minimum mandatory sentence. Accordingly, an indictment was brought and Mr. Warren, who had been on bond, was rearrested.

Upon being re-arrested, Mr. Warren was taken to the homicide interrogation room and questioned. It is a little known law that when you are rearrested on the same facts by a different sovereign, your demand to be represented by an attorney “resets.” So, in this case, Mr. Warren was charged in State Court for possession a weapon. He was appointed an attorney. Clearly, the officers could not question him without first speaking with his attorney. However, those same officers came to re-arrest him for the same crime, but to be charged in Federal Court. Because it was a new sovereign, they questioned him without his attorney. My next article will be dedicated to the legal hocus pocus that makes this ridiculous state of the law possible.

Nevertheless, it is the state of the law today and these officers did question Mr. Warren at length without his lawyer present and without recording the session in any way. It was pointed out during trial that the room they were in, the homicide interrogation room, is completely wired for sound and video. The Detective testified that he could have recorded the entire session without Mr. Warren ever knowing. However, the Detective testified that ATF policy prohibited him from recording the statements of suspects. And so, the jury was left without the benefit of the words that were said in that room by police or by Mr. Warren.

After three days of trial, the jury retired to deliberate at 9:45 am on April 29, 2010. The jury remained out for a little over five hours. During that time they sent in a note asking to see police reports and deposition testimony that were used to impeach officers. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the single count of the indictment. Mr. Warren is now at home with his family