United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VÁZQUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Joseph Martinez's
Motion for Suppression of Evidence Pursuant to Franks v.
Delaware and Incorporated Memorandum. Doc. 25. The
Government filed a Response. Doc. 27. As the Court will
explain below, having considered the briefs, relevant law and
being otherwise fully informed, the Court finds that
Defendant has not met his burden under Franks v.
Delaware, and he is not entitled to a hearing.
Accordingly, the Court concludes that Defendant's Motion
is not well-taken, and it will be DENIED.
August 10, 2017, law enforcement officers executed a federal
search warrant on Defendant's residence and vehicle, and
they discovered cocaine, cocaine base, firearms, and drug
paraphernalia. The search warrant was issued pursuant to an
affidavit completed by Detective Greg Reams. Doc. 26-2 (Ex.
A, hereinafter “Affidavit”).
Reams's affidavit sets forth the facts leading up to the
Santa Fe Police Department's (“SFPD”)
investigation of Defendant. A confidential informant
(“CI”) contacted the SFPD in in July of 2017,
stating that CI had knowledge of Mr. Martinez selling
narcotics from his vehicle in Santa Fe. Affidavit at ¶
6. The individual further stated they are familiar with Mr.
Martinez “because he/she has been purchasing narcotics
from Martinez for an extended period of time.”
Affidavit at ¶ 6(a). CI provided a physical description
of Defendant and his vehicle, and positively identified a
photograph of Defendant. The vehicle was registered to
Defendant at his home address. Affidavit at ¶ 6(d).
the course of July and August 2017, Detective Reams
instructed CI to contact Defendant and arrange three
purchases of cocaine base. Affidavit at ¶¶ 7, 8,
10. On the days of each of the purchases, Detective Reams
first searched CI for money or contraband. Before the second
purchase, Detective Reams “located [a] prescription
bottle containing a schedule IV substance, ” which CI
“honest[ly] stated he/she forgot the substance was in
the pill bottle.” Affidavit at ¶ 8(a). CI was kept
under constant surveillance, observed approaching
Defendant's vehicle and remaining at the vehicle for less
than five minutes before leaving, and kept on surveillance
until meeting up with Detective Reams at a predetermined
location. The driver in each of the purchases was Defendant.
CI was searched after each purchase, and the suspected
cocaine base obtained from CI was transported for narcotics
testing. In each of the three purchases, the substance tested
positive for cocaine.
surveillance of two of the three controlled buys, Agents
observed Defendant leaving his residence, driving to the
predetermined purchase location, and returning home.
Affidavit at ¶¶ 9, 10. Agents placed Defendant
under surveillance for the duration of the investigation, and
observed him in his vehicle on more than one occasion meeting
others in “random parking lots.” Affidavit at
¶ 11. Based on his training and experience, controlled
purchased by CI, and surveillance observation by Agents of
Defendant, Detective Reams stated, “Martinez is and
continues to be involved in the trafficking of narcotics,
mainly cocaine base.” Id.
Reams assessed CI to be a credible and reliable witness.
Affidavit at ¶ 12. In addition to CI's reports about
Defendant and his vehicle, Agents independently corroborated
the information through physical surveillance of Defendant.
Id. Detective Reams noted that CI followed all
instructions without deviation, and made statements against
his/her own penal interest by stating that he/she previously
used illegal narcotics. Id. Detective Reams added
that CI “has provided credible and reliable information
on unrelated drug traffickers in both the State and Federal
levels in at least two separate investigations.”
on this knowledge, Detective Reams concluded that Defendant
was likely to have violated New Mexico State Statute
30-31-20A(2)(a), the trafficking by way of distribution,
sale, barter, or giving away of an enumerated Schedule I or
II narcotic drug. Affidavit at ¶ 13, NM Stat §
SFPD obtained a search warrant for Defendant, his residence,
and the vehicle he was observed in during the aforementioned
controlled buys. The search warrant was executed on August
16, 2017 and, at the conclusion of the search, Mr. Martinez
was arrested, charged, and taken into custody.
Santa Fe District Attorney's Office indicted Defendant on
October 3, 2017, and he was arraigned in State Court on
October 16, 2017. Doc. 25 at 2-3. On January 11, 2018, the
United States Attorney's Office indicted Defendant on the
following charges: Possession with Intent to Distribute 28
Grams or More of Cocaine Base, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B); Possession with Intent
to Distribute Cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C); Felon in Possession of a Firearm, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g); Using an Carrying a
Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime,
and Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of Such Crime, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c); and Maintaining a
Drug-Involved Premises, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
856(a). Doc 2. The State case was dismissed on January 18,
2018. Doc. 25 at 3. On September 10, 2018, Defendant filed
the instant motion to suppress, in which he argues that the
search warrant was improperly issued because Detective
Reams's affidavit failed to establish probable cause.
challenges the adequacy of Detective Reams's affidavit,
contending that it did not support probable cause for the
magistrate judge to issue a search warrant. This challenge is
made under Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978),
where the Supreme Court held that a defendant who challenges
a search warrant affidavit is entitled to a hearing if he
“makes a substantial preliminary showing that a false
statement knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless
disregard for the truth, was included by the affiant in the
warrant affidavit, and  the allegedly false statement [was]
necessary to the finding of ...