United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S
MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE AND ALL STATEMENTS AND TO DISMISS
WILLIAM P. JOHNSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on pro se
Defendant's "Motion to Suppress Evidence & All
Statements and to Dismiss All Charges," filed October
15, 2018. (Doc. 33). Having reviewed the
parties' briefs and applicable law, Defendant's
Motion is DENIED.
January 11, 2018, Albuquerque Police Department Officer
Estevan Correa was dispatched to M&F Auto Sales, for a
report of a stolen truck. [R. Doc. 38, filed October 29, 2018
at 2]. The vehicle was described as a white
Toyota Tundra with no license plate, black wheels, and an
M&F Auto Sales sticker on the top left side of the
tailgate. [Id.] Officer Correa was shown a
photograph of the stolen truck, and the vehicle was last
reported driving at an intersection on the west side of
Albuquerque, New Mexico. [Id.] A few hours later,
Officer Correa and Officer Lawrence Monte saw the vehicle
matching the exact description driving near them. Both
officers observed Defendant exit the vehicle and walk toward
an apartment. [Id.] At this point, Sergeant David
Nix arrives to the scene to assist both officers.
[Id.] Sergeant Nix approached Defendant from the
apartment office and asked to speak with him, as the other
officers on looked from the apartment complex parking lot.
[Id.] The officers observed Defendant carrying a
bundle of clothes and saw Defendant reach into his pockets.
Defendant was instructed to put the items down, and Defendant
immediately thereafter stated that he was "an FBI
agent." [Id.] Defendant was instructed to turn
around and put his hands behind his back. [Id.]
Defendant turned around and put his hands behind his back,
Sergeant Nix asked Defendant if he had any weapons on him,
specifically guns or knives. [Id.] Defendant
responded that he did have a gun in his left pocket.
[Id.] Officer Correa then conducted a search of
Defendant's person and Sergeant Nix retrieved a loaded
firearm. [Id.] Immediately thereafter, Defendant was
handcuffed and placed in a patrol unit, as the officers
continued an investigation. [Id. at 3] Without being
questioned, Defendant identified himself as an FBI agent and
stated that his name was Mikko Sekiya. [Id.]
Sergeant Nix then ran the firearm's serial number and
truck VIN number and confirmed both as stolen. [Id.]
officers determined that the firearm was stolen, Defendant
was placed under arrest for possession of a stolen firearm.
[Id.] The officers then conducted a full search of
Defendant's person and located meth in his pocket.
[Id.] Defendant was not questioned regarding the
incident prior to the arrest, and once arrested was
questioned regarding his identifying information, including
name, social security number, and date of birth.
[Id. at 3-4]
filed the present Motion asking the Court to suppress
evidence and statements obtained from his arrest on January
11, 2018 for alleged constitutional violations under the
Fourth and Fifth Amendment. [R. Doc. 33]. Defendant was
indicted on stealing a firearm from a business licensed to
engage in the dealing of firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C.
Section 922(u), and possession of a firearm by a convicted
felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(1). [R. Doc.
1, filed May 9, 2018]. On October 5, 2018, the Court granted
Defendant's Motion to Proceed pro se and Mr.
Padilla's Motion to Withdraw allowing Defendant to
proceed in this matter as a pro se defendant and
allowing his attorney, Alonzo Padilla, to withdraw as his
attorney. [R. Doc. 26, filed October 5, 2018].
appears from Defendant's pro se Motion and the
government's response that there are three issues to be
1. Whether there was reasonable suspicion for the initial
investigatory detention of Defendant;
2. Whether Defendant's statements regarding weapons were
obtained in violation of his constitutional rights; and
3. Whether there was probable cause to search and arrest
Court emphasizes that "[t]he hazards which beset a
layman when he seeks to represent himself are obvious."
United States v. Pinkey, 548 F.2d 305, 311 (10th
Cir. 1977). Nevertheless, "[h]e who proceeds pro se with
full knowledge and understanding of the risks does so with no
greater rights than a litigant represented by a lawyer, and
the trial court is under no obligation to become an
"advocate" for or to assist and guide the pro se
layman [. . . .]" Id. (citations omitted).
Reasonable Suspicion for Initial ...