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United States v. Reyes-Canales

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 2, 2019

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
MOISES ALEXIS REYES-CANALES, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JAMES K. BREDAR CHIEF JUDGE.

         The Court held a motions hearing in this case on July 1 and 2, 2019. For the reasons stated in open court, it is ORDERED:

1. Fermin Gomez-Jimenez's Motion to Suppress Tangible and Statement Evidence (ECF No. 114) is DENIED.
a. Fermin Gomez-Jimenez's Corrected Motion for Leave to Supplement that motion (ECF No. 172) is GRANTED IN PART, insofar it seeks leave to supplement.
b. The Court concludes that the discovery and seizure of the phone in question was lawful, but the Court will DEFER any further decision on the legality of any subsequent search of the content of the data stored on the phone, until outstanding issues are briefed in accordance with the following schedule:

September 6, 2019

Deadline for the Government's response

September 13, 2019

Deadline for Defendant's reply

September 27, 2019, 10:00 a.m.

Pretrial Conference, Courtroom 3D. Defendants must be present, and any outstanding pretrial motions will be decided at this time.

         2. Juan Carlos Sandoval-Rodriguez's Motion to Suppress Search Evidence from recorded phone calls (ECF No. 118) is DENIED, and Fermin Gomez-Jimenez's Motion to Adopt or Join Sandoval-Rodriguez's motion (ECF No. 170) is GRANTED IN PART, insofar as it seeks to adopt arguments made in Sandoval-Rodriguez's motion that are applicable to Gomez-Jimenez, and DENIED on the merits.

         The Court concludes that the Government failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Sandoval-Rodriguez and Gomez-Jimenez were provided notice, in a language they could understand, that calls made from the Anne Arundel County Detention Center (AACDC) on Jennifer Road were recorded. Nonetheless, the Court concludes that, under the reasoning of Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517 (1984), there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in phone calls not involving attorneys made by the Defendants from AACDC phones while the Defendants were AACDC inmates. Although "prisons are not beyond the reach of the Constitution," id. at 523, the Supreme Court held in Hudson that "[a] right of privacy in traditional Fourth Amendment terms is fundamentally incompatible with the close and continued surveillance of inmates . . . required to ensure institutional security and internal order," id. at 527-28. That conclusion applies with equal force to jail calls made to individuals other than attorneys as it did to the physical searches of prisoners' cells at issue in Hudson. There is ample justification in this jurisdiction for routine monitoring of jail calls as a necessary means of identifying, controlling, or preventing safety threats and the movement of contraband. Accordingly, the Court concludes that the loss of privacy in the content of non-attorney jail calls is another aspect of the gross loss of privacy inherent in incarceration, including pre-trial incarceration. See id at 528. For that reason, Sandoval-Rodriguez and Gomez- Jimenez had no reasonable expectation of privacy implicating the Fourth Amendment in the content of such calls.

         3. Juan Carlos Sandoval-Rodriguez's Motion to Suppress Search Evidence (DNA) (ECF No. 119) and Motion to Suppress Search Evidence (Whatsapp) (ECF No. 120) are DENIED AS MOOT, based on the Government's stipulation that it does not intend to introduce any such evidence in its case-in-chief, and without prejudice to the Defendant's ability to renew the motion should the Government attempt to introduce such evidence.

         4. Juan Carlos Sandoval-Rodriguez's Motion to Suppress Interrogation Statements (ECF No. 121) is DENIED AS MOOT, based on the Government's stipulation that it does not intend to introduce any such statements in its case-in-chief, and without prejudice to the Defendant's ability to renew the motion should the Government attempt to introduce such statements or evidence that is solely and materially the fruits of such statements. The Government is specifically ORDERED to provide reasonable notice to Defendant Sandoval-Rodriguez if it intends to introduce in its case-in-chief any statements obtained during an interrogation on February 27, 2018, 5. Marlon Cruz-Flores's Motion to Suppress Statements (ECF No. 125) is DENIED AS MOOT, based on the Government's stipulation that it does not intend to introduce any such statements in its case-in-chief, and without prejudice to the Defendant's ability to renew the motion should the Government attempt to introduce such statements or evidence that is solely and materially the fruits of such statements.

         6. Marlon Cruz-Flores's Motion to Sever (ECF No. 127) and Fermin Gomez-Jimenez's Motion to Sever (ECF No. 130, correcting and superseding ECF No. 129) are DENIED. Motions to adopt motions of codefendants filed by Juan Carlos Sandoval-Rodriguez (ECF No. 117) and by Moises Alexis Reyes-Canales (ECF No. 136) are GRANTED IN PART, insofar as they seek to adopt the severance arguments made by Cruz-Flores and Gomez-Jimenez that are applicable to them, and DENIED IN PART on the merits for the same reasons and as a function of the denials of ECF Nos. 127 and 130. 7. With respect to Marlon Cruz-Flores's Motion to Suppress Tangible and Derivative Evidence (ECF No. 128):

a. The motion is DENIED IN PART AS MOOT, based on the Government's stipulation that it does not intend to introduce in its case-in-chief evidence obtained from the warrants described in Defendant's motion at paragraph 2, sub-paragraphs (d) through (g), without prejudice to the Defendant's ability to renew the motion should the Government attempt to introduce evidence obtained pursuant to those warrants.
b. The remainder of the motion seeking to suppress evidence obtained from the search warrants described in Defendant's motion at paragraph 2, sub-paragraphs (a) through (c), is DENIED on the merits, because the good faith exception under United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984), applies. In reviewing the affidavits submitted in support of the challenged warrants, the Court finds sufficient indicia of good faith on the affiant's part to justify application of the Leon exception and insufficient indicia of bad faith to justify suppression.
c. Motions to join or adopt motions of codefendants filed by Moises Alexis Reyes-Canales (ECF No. 136) and by Fermin Gomez-Jimenez (ECF No. 170) are GRANTED IN PART, insofar as they seek to adopt arguments made by Cruz-Flores with respect to the warrants described in paragraph 7(b), and DENIED on the merits for ...

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