United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division
For U.S. Probation, Interested Party: uspNotify, LEAD ATTORNEY.
For Yoirlan Tome Rojas, Defendant: Bradley Ryan Hansen, LEAD ATTORNEY, Federal Public Defender's Office, Sioux City, IA.
For USA, Plaintiff: Jamie D Bowers, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Sioux City, IA.
ORDER ON MOTION TO COMPEL
LEONARD T. STRAND, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Defendant Yoirlan Tome Rojas is charged by a superseding indictment (Doc. No. 29) with two counts of using a counterfeit access device, one count of possession of fifteen or more counterfeit access devices, one count of money laundering and two counts of aggravated identity theft. He has filed a motion (Doc. No. 60) to compel through which he seeks an order directing plaintiff (the Government) to (a) reveal the identity of a confidential informant (CI) in an ongoing investigation in Texas, (b) turn over the photograph used by the CI to identify Tome Rojas and (c) make available the basis for a search warrant issued in Texas concerning electronic evidence. The Government has filed a resistance (Doc. No. 64).
I held an evidentiary hearing on August 5, 2014. Assistant United States Attorney Jaime Bowers appeared on behalf of the Government. Tome Rojas appeared personally and with his attorney, Christopher Roth. Tome Rojas proffered information through counsel but called no witnesses. The Government offered the testimony of Detective Brian Flikeid of the Storm Lake, Iowa, Police Department. No exhibits were offered into evidence.
II. RELEVANT FACTS
The Storm Lake Police Department was contacted by two out-of-state victims who reported their credit cards were fraudulently charged at a Wal-Mart store in Storm Lake on September 13, 2013, and November 6, 2013. The victims still had possession of their genuine credit cards. However, their account numbers were utilized to make purchases with manufactured counterfeit cards. Officers contacted the store's loss prevention manager and obtained surveillance videos and purchase information for the transactions at issue. According to Flikeid, the video evidence shows Tome Rojas using fraudulent credit cards linked to the victims' accounts.
Storm Lake police officers obtained and executed a search warrant for Tome Rojas's home, person and a storage locker in his apartment building. The officers found 244 manufactured counterfeit credit cards. The case was then referred to the United States Secret Service, which assigned Agent Michael Hawkins to the investigation. On February 20, 2014, the Grand Jury returned the original federal indictment (Doc. No. 1) against Tome Rojas and an arrest warrant was issued. Federal agents arrested Tome Rojas on February 27, 2014.
During the course of his investigation, Hawkins was contacted by Secret Service agents in Texas who were investigating a credit card fraud case. Those agents informed Hawkins that Tome Rojas had come to their attention, as a CI had identified him via a photograph as being a member of a credit card fraud ring. Based on the CI's reports and their own investigation, the agents in Texas obtained and executed a search warrant for an email address and other electronic evidence purportedly connected to Tome Rojas. That warrant allegedly generated evidence of an extensive credit card fraud ring, including 16-digit credit card account numbers, victim information, information about manufacturing counterfeit devices and suspect information. According to the Government, however, none of the evidence obtained through the Texas ...