United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable Bruce G. Macdonald United States Magistrate Judge.
pending before the Court is Defendant Scott Daniel
Warren's Second Motion to Compel Discovery Responses
(Doc. 34). The Government has filed its response, and
Defendant has replied. Govt.'s Response to Def.'s 2d
Mot. to Compel Discovery Responses (Doc. 37); Def.'s
Reply Br. In Support of 2d Mot. to Compel Disc. Responses
(Doc. 38). Defendant Scott Daniel Warren is charged with one
(1) count of operating a motor vehicle in a wilderness area,
and one (1) count of abandoning property in a national
wildlife refuge. Information (Doc. 1).
28, 2018, oral argument was held before Magistrate Judge
Macdonald regarding the motion. Minute Entry 6/28/2018 (Doc.
39). The Court took the matter under advisement, and it is
ripe for adjudication. . . . . . . . . .
May 29, 2018 Order (Doc. 35) regarding Defendant's
initial Motion to Compel Discovery Responses, the Court
outlined the factual background. As such, the Court finds it
unnecessary to reiterate those facts here.
seeks an order compelling the Government to provide discovery
that he alleges is essential to his defense. See
Def.'s 2d Mot. to Compel (Doc. 34). Currently, Defendant
seeks disclosure of (1) “notes, minutes, agendas and
other documents pertaining to any meetings between
representatives of the U.S. government . . . and
representatives of No More Deaths from 2014 to the present,
 includ[ing] documents pertaining to a 2015 meeting between
Margo Cowan, Larry Lee, and land managers in the Tucson
region”; (2) “[a]ll correspondence, including
text messages, between government agents, including Border
Patrol and the Fish and Wildlife Service, referencing No More
Deaths volunteers, along with the identities of the senders
and receivers of any such correspondence”; and (3)
“[a]ny and all documents pertaining to the revision of
the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge permit application
that occurred in 2017 or 2018.” Def.'s 2d Mot. to
Compel (Doc. 34) at 2-3. Defendant asserts he is entitled to
such information based upon Rule 16, Federal Rules of
Criminal Procedure. See id.
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 16
16, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, provides:
“Upon a defendant's request, the government must
permit the defendant to inspect and to copy or photograph
books, papers, documents, data, photographs, tangible
objects, buildings or places, or copies or portions of any of
these items, if the item is within the government's
possession, custody, or control and . . . the item is
material to preparing the defense.” Fed. R. Crim. P.
16(a)(1)(E)(i). “Materiality is a necessary
prerequisite to discovery.” United States v. USDC,
Central Dist. of Cal., Los Angeles, Cal., 717 F.2d 478,
480 (9th Cir. 1983) (citations omitted). “Materiality
is a ‘low threshold; it is satisfied so long as the
information ... would have helped' to prepare a defense.
United States v. Soto-Zuniga, 837 F.3d 992, 1003
(9th Cir. 2016) (quoting United States v.
Hernandez-Meza, 720 F.3d 760, 768 (9th Cir. 2013)).
However, “[m]ateriality means more than that the
evidence in question bears some abstract logical relationship
to the issues in the case. There must be some indication that
the pretrial disclosure of the disputed evidence would . .
enable the defendant significantly to alter the quantum of
proof in his favor.” United States v.
Maniktala, 934 F.2d 25, 28 (2d Cir. 1991) (citations
omitted). “An abstract logical relationship to the
issues in the case is not, however, sufficient to force the
production of discovery under rule 16.” United
States v. George, 786 F.Supp. 56, 58 (D.D.C. 1992)
(quotations and citations omitted). “The documents at
issue must play an important role in uncovering admissible
evidence, aiding witness preparation, corroborating testimony
or assisting impeachment or rebuttal.” Id.
(quotations and citations omitted).
Meeting Notes, Minutes, and Agendas
by estoppel is the unintentional entrapment by an official
who mistakenly misleads a person into a violation of the
law.” United States v. Batterjee, 361 F.3d
1210, 1216 (9th Cir. 2004) (citations omitted). “In
order to establish entrapment by estoppel, a defendant must
show that (1) an authorized government official, empowered to
render the claimed erroneous advice, . . . (2) who has been
made aware of all the relevant historical facts, . . . (3)
affirmatively told him the proscribed conduct was
permissible, . . . (4) that he relied on the false
information, . . . and (5) that his reliance was
reasonable.” Id. (quotations and citations
asserts that the Government has previously “produced a
document dated April 28, 2017 that appears to be notes from a
meeting between Sid Slone and Mary Kralovec, CPNWR personnel,
and four representatives of No More Deaths[, ] . . . [which]
describes a conversation about the use of administrative
roads by No More Deaths to carry out their humanitarian
work.” Def.'s 2d Mot. to Compel Discovery Responses
(Doc. 34) at 5. Defendant further asserts that “[t]he
document also states that one of the No More Deaths
representatives ‘stated that she had met 2 years ago
with Larry Lee (DOJ Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA)) and the
various land managers in the Tucson region to talk about the
missions of NMD and the land managers and work through a
method where NMD could complete their mission on public
lands.” Id. The Government argues that
“[t]he defendant has failed to allege or show any facts
having any tendency to support his claim of entrapment by
estoppel.” Govt.'s Response (Doc. 37) at 5. The
Government further asserts that Defendant “has failed
to allege that he personally relied on any of the statements
made at those meetings.” Id. As such, the
Government asserts that any such meeting notes are
immaterial. Id. at 5-6.
Court finds that Defendant's vague assertion that because
there were meetings between members of No More Deaths and
various governmental representatives, he was acting under a
belief that his permit violation was legal, insufficient to
support the discovery he seeks. Defendant has failed to put
forth any facts to support his contention that a government
agent informed No More Deaths that any actions violating
their permits would be legal. As such, the information sought
is not material to his defense.