United States District Court, D. Oregon
J. Williams, United States Attorney, and William M. Narus and
Lewis S. Burkhart, Assistant United States Attorneys, Of
Attorneys for United States of America.
Gutbezahl, Of Attorneys for Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael H. Simon United States District Judge
Adan Torres-Nieves (“Torres”) moves to suppress
evidence obtained by law enforcement during the execution of
a search warrant and further moves to suppress all statements
he made during a custodial interrogation and all evidence
recovered as a result of Defendant's statements. The
government opposes both motions. The Court held an
evidentiary hearing on February 11, 2019. For the reasons
that follow, Defendant's motions are both DENIED.
Fourth Amendment requires that “no warrants shall
issue, but upon probable cause, persons or things to be
seized.” U.S. Const., amend. IV. A search warrant is
supported by probable cause if the issuing judge finds that,
“given all the circumstances set forth in the affidavit
before him . . . there is a fair probability that contraband
or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular
place.” Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 238
(1983). As the Court now tasked with reviewing the issuing
judge's finding of probable cause, we must “simply
ensure that the [issuing judge] had a ‘substantial
basis for . . . concluding' that probable cause
existed.” Id. at 238-39 (quoting Jones v.
United States, 362 U.S. 257, 271 (1960)). We give great
deference to an issuing judge's finding that probable
cause supports a warrant. United States v. Krupa,
658 F.3d 1174, 1177 (9th Cir. 2011); United States v.
Gourde, 440 F.3d 1065, 1069 (9th Cir. 2006) (en banc)
(declaring that courts “are not in a position to
flyspeck the affidavit through de novo review”).
affidavit must consist of more than conclusory statements and
bare-bones assertions. United States v. Underwood,
725 F.3d 1076, 1081 (9th Cir. 2013). Instead, the affidavit
“must recite underlying facts so that the issuing judge
can draw his or her own reasonable inferences and
conclusions; it is these facts that form the central basis of
the probable cause determination.” Id. Whether
or not probable cause exists “depends upon the totality
of the circumstances, including reasonable inferences, and is
a ‘commonsense practical question.'”
United States v. Kelley, 482 F.3d 1047, 1050 (9th
Cir. 2007) (quoting Gourde, 440 F.3d at 1069).
“[P]robable cause means ‘fair probability,'
not certainty or even a preponderance of the evidence.”
Gourde, 440 F.3d at 1069.
when a warrant is unsupported by probable cause, suppression
of the fruits of an unconstitutional search is not necessary
if the officers relied on the warrant in good faith.
United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 919-20 (1984).
In Leon, the Supreme Court explained that,
“where police conduct is ‘pursued in complete
good faith,' the [exclusionary] rule's deterrent
function ‘loses much of its force.'”
United States v. Luong, 470 F.3d 898, 902 (9th Cir.
2006) (quoting Leon, 468 U.S. at 919). The
exclusionary rule thus does “not bar the
government's introduction of evidence obtained by
officers acting in objectively reasonable reliance on a
search warrant that is subsequently invalidated.”
Id. The good faith inquiry is an objective one,
requiring a court to ask “whether a reasonably well
trained officer would have known that the search was illegal
despite the magistrate's authorization.”
Leon, 468 U.S. at 922 n.23.
inculpatory statements made by a defendant during custodial
interrogation to be admissible in evidence, the
defendant's waiver of Miranda rights must be
voluntary, knowing, and intelligent. A valid waiver of
Miranda rights depends upon the totality of the
circumstances including the background, experience, and
conduct of defendant.” United States v.
Garibay, 143 F.3d 534, 536 (9th Cir. 1998) (citations
and quotation marks omitted). The government must prove by a
preponderance of the evidence that a valid Miranda
waiver occurred. Colorado v. Connelly, 479 U.S. 157,
To satisfy this burden, the prosecution must introduce
sufficient evidence to establish that under the totality of
the circumstances, the defendant was aware of the nature of
the right being abandoned and the consequences of the
decision to abandon it. The government's burden to make
such a showing is great, and the court will indulge every
reasonable presumption against waiver of fundamental
Garibay, 143 F.3d at 536-37 (citations and quotation
markes omitted). “In determining whether a defendant
knowingly and intelligently waived his Miranda
rights, we consider, as one factor, any language difficulties
encountered by the defendant during custodial
interrogation.” Id. at 537.
applying the totality of the circumstances test, courts
(1) whether the defendant signed a written waiver; (2)
whether the defendant was advised of his rights in his native
tongue; (3) whether the defendant appeared to understand his
rights; (4) whether a defendant had the assistance of a
translator; (5) whether the defendant's rights were
individually and repeatedly explained to him; and ...