Brandon Bieri Mayfield: Motion to Dismiss Material Witness Proceeding

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KARIN J. IMMERGUT, OSB #96314
United States Attorney
District of Oregon
CHARLES F. GORDER, JR., OSB #91287
[Redacted by FindLaw]
PAMALA R. HOLSINGER, OSB #89263
[Redacted by FindLaw]
DAVID L. ATKINSON, OSB #75021
[Redacted by FindLaw]
Assistant United States Attorneys
1000 SW Third Avenue, Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204-2902
Telephone: (503) 727-1000
Facsimile: (503) 727-1117
Of Attorneys for United States

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF OREGON

 
IN RE: FEDERAL GRAND JURY 03-01,
 
 
 
Matter of Material Witness
 
 
 

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Misc. No. 04-MC-9071

MOTION TO DISMISS
MATERIAL WITNESS PROCEEDING


            The United States of America, by Karin J. Immergut, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon and Charles F. Gorder, Jr., Pamala R. Holsinger and David L. Atkinson, Assistant United States Attorneys, moves the Court for an order dismissing the above-referenced material witness proceeding involving BRANDON BIERI MAYFIELD. This motion is based on the following grounds:

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  •             MAYFIELD was originally linked to the March 11, 2004 train bombings in Madrid by way of fingerprint identification. Specifically, MAYFIELD's fingerprints came to the attention of the Latent Print Unit (LPU) of the FBI Crime Lab by way of an automated search using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). IAFIS allows the LPU to search unidentified latent fingerprints against a database of approximately forty-five million fingerprint records. IAFIS returned MAYFIELD's fingerprints as one of several candidates for comparison with an image of a latent fingerprint obtained by the Spanish National Police (SNP) from a bag containing detonators and explosives seized from an area intimately associated with the bombings. An LPU examiner began manual comparisons of the candidates' known prints with a digital image of the latent print submitted by the SNP.

                The LPU examiner, based upon a thorough scientific analysis, determined that the latent print matched MAYFIELD. The fingerprint identification of MAYFIELD was subsequently verified by at least three additional examiners. One independent examiner, not employed by the FBI, was appointed by the Court upon the recommendation of counsel for MAYFIELD and with the consent of the government. The independent examiner agreed with the FBI analysis.

                Prior to the fingerprint identification by the FBI lab in Quantico, MAYFIELD was not under investigation and federal law enforcement authorities had no reason to believe that MAYFIELD had any information about the Madrid bombings. Based upon the fingerprint identification by the FBI lab, an investigation was commenced. Facts developed during the preliminary stages of the investigation, when coupled with the fingerprint identification, suggested that MAYFIELD may have information relevant to the Madrid bombings. Because of the danger of premature disclosure and the potential loss of critical evidence, the government sought the assistance of the Court in securing MAYFIELD's availability for possible future testimony as a material witness. Counsel for MAYFIELD and the governmental were in the process of negotiating the forum and conditions for interviewing MAYFIELD or acquiring his testimony.

                After notification via e-mail from FBI's Legal Attache in Madrid that the SNP had identified the latent print in question to a different individual, the LPU began a re-examination. Promptly after the FBI LPU expressed reservations about their earlier fingerprint analysis, the Department of Justice sought an order releasing MAYFIELD from custody. Thereafter, two FBI examiners traveled to Madrid in order to obtain images with the highest possible resolution to help resolve the concerns about MAYFIELD's fingerprint identification. The two LPU examiners were granted full access to the fingerprints of the other individual and the item on which the latent had been left. They returned to the laboratory facility at Quantico, Virginia, at 10:00 PM Sunday night, May 23, 2004. Four FBI fingerprint examiners met them there and began work to sort out this issue.

                As the four examiners met on Sunday night/Monday morning, the focus returned to the latent print and it was re-analyzed. The four examiners conducting this re-analysis consisted of two Unit Chiefs and two Supervisory Fingerprint Examiners with a combined total of ninety-three years in the latent print science. The four examiners concurred that the latent print had multiple separations - i.e., that it was divided by many lines of demarcation possibly caused by creases in the underlying material, multiple touches by one or more fingers, or both. Utilizing the additional information acquired this weekend in Spain, the FBI lab has now determined that the latent print previously identified as a fingerprint of MAYFIELD to be of no value for identification purposes. This morning, May 24, 2004, the FBI LPU withdrew its previous fingerprint identification.

                Accordingly, based upon the re-evaluation of the probative value of the latent fingerprint linking MAYFIELD to the Madrid bombings, the government respectfully submits that there is no longer probably cause to believe that MAYFIELD is in possession of information material to a criminal proceeding as contemplated by Title 18, United States Code, Section 3144 (relating to material witnesses). This matter should therefore be dismissed and the conditions of his release should be exonerated.

                The United States further moves that the Court authorize the return of all non-contraband material seized from MAYFIELD during the execution of search warrants on or about May 11, 2004, and that copies thereof in the government's possession be destroyed.

    DATED this _____ day of May, 2004.

     Respectfully submitted,

    ________________________
    KARIN J. IMMERGUT
    United States Attorney


    ________________________
    CHARLES F. GORDER, JR.
    PAMALA R. HOLSINGER
    DAVID L. ATKINSON
    Assistant United States Attorneys




    CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE BY MAIL AND FACSIMILE

    I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT I have made service of the foregoing MOTION TO DISMISS MATERIAL WITNESS PROCEEDING, on the party herein, on May 24, 2004, by faxing a full copy thereof to the number listed below, and by causing to be mailed at Portland, Oregon, a full copy thereof, enclosed in an envelope with postage thereon prepaid, addressed as follows:

    Steven T. Wax
    Federal Public Defender

    101 SW Main Street, Suite 1700
    Portland, OR 97204
    Fax: (503) 326-5524

    Christopher J. Schatz
    Assistant Federal Public Defender

    101 SW Main Street, Suite 1700
    Portland, OR 97204
    Fax: (503) 326-5524

    DATED this ______ day of May, 2004.


    ____________________________________
    LORI McBRYDE, Paralegal Specialist


    Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice