United States District Court, D. Alaska
ORDER ON MOTION TO SUPPRESS
L. GLEASON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Suppress filed by Defendant at
Docket 42. The motion seeks to suppress evidence seized from
a package that was on route to Defendant Ricky Alan Blodgett
via FedEx. The Government opposed at Docket 48. An
evidentiary hearing on the motion was held on March 9 and
March 14, 2018. Three witnesses testified: Christian Turcic
and Brian Mustacci, both FedEx employees, and Alaska State
Trooper Shayne Calt.
on the evidence presented at the hearing, the Court finds as
FedEx cooperates with law enforcement to do package watches.
A package watch occurs when law enforcement asks FedEx to
look out for a particular type of package, such as one
addressed to a particular address or person. If FedEx comes
across such a package at its facility, FedEx removes that
package from the delivery line and brings it to the security
office at FedEx. FedEx then contacts the law enforcement
officer who had asked for the package watch and informs the
officer of its action.
FedEx employee Christian Turcic testified FedEx performs
package watches as a courtesy to law enforcement.
FedEx's airway bill contains a notice that informs the
shipper that the package is subject to being inspected or
reason that FedEx x-rays a package that law enforcement has
requested to set aside is to make sure that there is nothing
dangerous in such a package that could harm FedEx's
FedEx prioritizes running its own business operation over
responding to requests of law enforcement, but it tries to
respond to every request from law enforcement to pull
Brian Mustacci works as an international security manager for
FedEx in Anchorage. Part of his job is to prevent FedEx from
shipping narcotics around the country and the world. He
testified that when law enforcement requests that a package
in FedEx's custody be detained, he does so-he estimated
on average once ever one to two weeks.
Trooper Calt testified that he received a tip on February 24,
2015 that on the previous day, February 23, 2015, Mr.
Blodgett had received a package of heroin via FedEx. Based on
that information, he asked FedEx to keep a watch out for any
additional packages going to Mr. Blodgett, detain any such
additional packages, and notify the trooper. Trooper Calt was
very clear that he did not direct FedEx to set aside any such
package: “They are a private company and they do what
is in their best interest, not in mine.” 8. A package
was sent via FedEx to Mr. Blodgett on February 27, 2015. It
was scheduled to be delivered to Mr. Blodgett on March 3,
2015 by 12:00 p.m.
Mustacci identified the package on Saturday, February 28 and
pulled it off the line. He then x-rayed it, although Trooper
Calt had not specifically requested that he do so. Mr.
Mustacci used his cell phone to take a photograph of the
x-ray and sent the photo to Trooper Calt. He then placed the
package in his locked office at FedEx.
Trooper Calt looked at the photograph on his phone and
determined that the inside of the package contained a
substance that looked consistent with heroin. He did not save
a copy of the photo on his phone, and by the time anyone
asked him for the photo a year later, he no longer possessed
that cell phone.
Trooper Calt next applied for a search warrant for the
package. He obtained the warrant, and then he went to FedEx
and searched the package. He removed the majority of the heroin
and methamphetamine ...