United States District Court, D. Oregon
For Omar Martinez-Rodriguez, 74849-065, Defendant: Alison M. Clark, LEAD ATTORNEY, Federal Public Defender, Portland, OR; Ellen C. Pitcher, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Portland, OR.
For USA, Plaintiff: Steven T. Mygrant, LEAD ATTORNEY, Clackamas County District Attorney's Office, Oregon City, OR.
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Hon. Robert E. Jones, Senior United States
On October 1, 2013, the defendant, Omar Martinez-Rodriguez was indicted on one count of possession of more than 500 grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. (#1) Thereafter, defendant filed a motion to suppress two categories of evidence. First, he seeks suppression of evidence obtained from September 18, 2013 through September 25, 2013 on the grounds that the search warrant should not have been issued and that the evidence obtained was outside the scope of the Clackamas County search warrant. Second, he asks the court to suppress evidence and statements obtained on September 25, 2013 during a warrantless search of defendant's vehicle and person on the grounds there was no probable cause to stop defendant's vehicle. (#37) I heard argument on the motion on January 6, 2014 and make the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.
The Fourth Amendment provides that " [t]he right of the people to be secure ... against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." U.S. Const. amend. IV. The Amendment protects " people--and not simply 'areas'--against unreasonable searches and seizures." Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 353, 88 S.Ct. 507, 19 L.Ed.2d 576 (1967). A valid search or seizure " requires adherence to judicial processes," and searches without a warrant
are " per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment." Id. at 357. However, law enforcement agents may briefly stop a moving automobile to investigate a reasonable suspicion that its occupants are involved in criminal activity. United States v. Hensley, 469 U.S. 221, 226, 105 S.Ct. 675, 83 L.Ed.2d 604 (1985). Where officers have probable cause to believe an automobile contains evidence of a crime, a search warrant does not need to be obtained prior to a search of the vehicle. United States v. Alvarez, 899 F.2d 833, 839 (9th Cir. 1990). To help protect an individual's Fourth Amendment rights, courts apply the " exclusionary rule," which provides that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment will be excluded from use against a defendant at trial. Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 488, 83 S.Ct. 407, 9 L.Ed.2d 441 (1963). With those standards in mind, I turn to the facts in this case.
FINDINGS OF FACT
In September 2013, the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force (Task Force) began investigating the defendant's actions. With the help of a confidential informant (CI), Task Force Deputy Matrona Shadrin (Shadrin) identified defendant as a methamphetamine dealer and associated a particular phone number and Canby, Oregon address with defendant. Shadrin recorded a phone call made by the CI while the CI was in Clackamas County to defendant during which the CI attempted to purchase a half-ounce of methamphetamine. (Exh. 11) Defendant indicated he was out of town for a few days " loading up" (Exh. 11, p. 2), which Shadrin, a veteran sheriff with over 800 hours of training in drug interdictions, understood to mean defendant was resupplying his stock of methamphetamine. Based on the information Shadrin gleaned from the CI regarding his previous drug purchases from defendant at the Canby address and the information from the phone call, Shadrin prepared an affidavit and application for a search warrant authorizing the tracking of the cell phone associated with defendant. The application was vetted by a Clackamas County Deputy District Attorney and on September 18, 2013, Clackamas County Judge Kathie ...