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United States v. Madrid-Quezada

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

July 23, 2019


          Alejandro Fernandez Attorney for Mr. Madrid-Quezada

          Jason Wisecup Assistant United States Attorney



         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Julian Madrid-Quezada's Motion to Suppress Statements and Tangible Evidence, filed November 1, 2018. Doc. 45. The government filed a Response on November 15, 2018. Doc. 46. The Court held an evidentiary hearing on May 8, 2019. Having reviewed the briefs, testimony, exhibits, and relevant law, for the reasons set forth below, the Court grants in part and denies in part Mr. Madrid-Quezada's Motion to Suppress.


         This case concerns Julian Madrid-Quezada's oral and written statements made on February 16, 2017, on the day of his arrest, as well as during a 2000 administrative encounter. On January 23, 2018, Mr. Madrid-Quezada was charged in a single-count Indictment with Reentry of a Removed Alien, in violation of 8 U.S.C. §§ 1326(a) and (b). Doc. 27. On November 1, 2018, he filed the instant Motion to Suppress, arguing that his oral and written statements, as well as the contents in his “Alien File” (A-File) should be suppressed because they were made after an illegal arrest and without proper advisement of his Miranda rights. Doc. 45. Mr. Madrid-Quezada additionally argued that the 2000 statements should be suppressed because he was not given Miranda warnings nor advised of the criminal implications of his statements at the time the statements were made in 2000. Doc. 45 at ¶ 12.

         The government responded that Mr. Madrid-Quezada is not entitled to the suppression of any evidence because his rights were not violated in the 2000 administrative encounter, nor were they violated in the 2017 administrative encounter or criminal custodial interview, the latter of which was preceded by sufficient Miranda warnings. Doc. 46 at 6.

         The Court held an evidentiary hearing on May 8, 2019, during which it heard testimony from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deportation Officer (DO) Dean King and Mr. Madrid-Quezada. The Court took the Motion under advisement. The following represents the Court's essential findings of fact, based on the evidence submitted, as well as witness testimony, as required by Rule 12(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.


         On February 16, 2017, Julian Madrid-Quezada was encountered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents at his residence in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a part of a targeted enforcement action. [Complaint Doc. 1 (Affidavit of Deportation Officer Dean King)]. Mr. Madrid-Quezada had been previously removed from the United States on August 17, 2000 and has convictions for alcohol-related conduct in 1999 and 2006, for which he was sentenced to terms of imprisonment. Id.; see also Doc. 46-2 (I-867A Form (Recorded Sworn Statement) dated 8/17/00). As a result of this history, ICE was “made aware of his presence by receiving a lead referral from one of [its] analysis targeting divisions.” Hearing Transcript (Tr.)[1] at 5:14-15. The National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center Lead Referral (Lead Referral), dated November 10, 2015 [Doc. 46-1], led to Mr. Madrid-Quezada's arrest in the instant offense.

         ICE Deportation Officer Dean King, now a Supervisory Detention Deportation Officer, was a Deportation Officer for five years and has been employed with Homeland Security since 2003. Tr. at 4:12-25. DO King testified that ICE typically takes the lead referral and “further investigate[s] to try to confirm whether or not that's the same person . . . it's a targeted enforcement action at that point.” Tr. at 5:23-25. He noted that lead referrals “could be” for individuals who do have status in the United States, which is something that the officers have to figure out whenever they receive the referral. Tr. at 56:12-22. In this case, the lead referral was dated 2015, but DO King did not receive it “until before the operation.” Tr. at 59:8-20. He estimated receiving it three or four days prior to the operation. Tr. at 67:18-20.

         DO King also indicated that as soon as an officer gets a “lead, ” referring to the Lead Referral, he or she “immediately . . . [orders] the A-File.” Tr. at 12:12-13. In this case, ICE “had an operation we were getting ready to conduct” and “didn't have a lot of time . . . to do a lot of, you know, surveillance or investigation.” Tr. at 6:17-20. DO King reported that there was not time in this case to “go out and try to confirm whether or not” an individual is “really here” because ICE “had to get so many targets acquired and identified and presented to headquarters . . . then we have so many days.” Tr. at 29:6-19. DO King was not “really able to do a lot of pre-investigation beforehand, ” and could not recall how they came to search one-rather than a second, separately listed-address for Mr. Madrid-Quezada. Tr. at 29:20-21, 32:7-10. Regardless, Mr. Madrid-Quezada was a “viable target” who “became part of the operation, ” which DO King described as a “targeted enforcement action.” Tr. at 5:25, 6:23, 30:7. The operation lasted three or four days and involved the arrest of multiple people, “all targeting previously removed felons and [aggravated] felons.” Tr. 24:17-25:9, 26:23-25. As an individual with prior convictions, Mr. Madrid-Quezada was listed on the Lead Referral as an “Enforcement Priority: 1.” Tr. at 31:1-10; Doc. 46-1. He was “added last minute, ” though it was not clarified whether Mr. Madrid-Quezada was picked up on the first day of the operation, the last, or somewhere in between. Tr. at 54:11.

         At the time of the instant offense, DO King was within the Fugitive Operations team under the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Unit. Tr. 26:11-15. ERO regularly initiates criminal prosecution, and DO King stated that he intended on the day of the instant offense to initiate a prosecution in this case. Tr. at 27:9-14. On the other hand, he also stated that while Mr. Madrid-Quezada may have been suspected of being in the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1326, “it wasn't 100 percent conclusive.” Tr. at 30:22-25. He provided the following testimony in response to defense counsel's questions:

Q: When you say that the lead referral doesn't always indicate an intent to arrest for criminal prosecution, when they're Enforcement Priority 1, you'd agree that it's more likely it's going to be a criminal --
A: It's a possibility. But, again, sometimes -- if -- depending on the case, sometimes we have time to prepare a criminal case and get it ready before we will make an arrest. In this case, if I would have -- if we would have had time, I could have --when I went to the Defendant's residence, I would have had an arrest warrant, a criminal arrest warrant, versus what I -- than what we had. But in this case, we weren't 100 percent sure that we were going to go through the prosecution of 1326 until after the arrest.
But, typically, it's unknown to the officers usually if we can foresee a criminal prosecution or not. It depends on the case. It's varied case-by-case.
Q: But your testimony is had you more time, you may have sought a criminal arrest warrant?
A: Yes. I would have had enough probable cause to draft a criminal complaint and try to get a judge to sign a criminal arrest warrant based on the information I did have.

Tr. at 31:11-32:6. DO King reiterated later that “most likely” the individuals would be referred for 1326 prosecution, “but it's not always the case.” Tr. at 63:25-64:3. He also stated that if he “would have had a little bit more information up front, I would have - definitely would have came and got an arrest warrant from the District Court in Albuquerque. That way this - you know, we would have went a totally different route.” Tr. at 64:5-9. However, because of the time limit, the “criminal initiation was done after the administrative warrant.” Tr. at 64:12-13. DO King admitted, “I would have had a criminal arrest warrant . . . we would have - things would have been done differently. Upon encounter, obviously, he would have been Mirandized on the spot.” Tr. at 64:16-19. He reiterated several times thereafter that “we could have done a lot more research” if he would have had more time. Tr. at 67:21-24. DO King estimated that he would have needed “a good week or two” to research “all the facts upfront” and “obtain[] a criminal arrest warrant.” Tr. at 67:25-68:12. When asked by the Court to clarify what he needed to do, DO King stated that he would have verified the residence and “make sure that . . . the person is the same person who was prior removed.” Tr. at 68:17-24. DO King then stated that he did not believe he had probable cause for a criminal arrest when he initially encountered Mr. Madrid-Quezada. Tr. at 69:6-13.

         DO King did receive an administrative warrant to detain or remove Mr. Madrid-Quezada. Doc. 46 at ¶ 13, 46-3 (Ex. 3, I-205 Warrant of Removal/Deportation); Tr. at 7:3-4, 17:13-15. The warrant is dated February 16, 2017, and signed by the ICE Field Officer Director on February 17, 2017, the day after Mr. Madrid-Quezada was arrested and interviewed. See Doc. 46-3. There is no judicial branch officer, magistrate, or judge involved in the process. Tr. at 24:5-7. The administrative warrant is not an arrest warrant, and it would not allow DO King to enter Mr. Madrid-Quezada's home to arrest him. Doc. 46 at ¶ 16; Tr. at 19:4-5. There is no time stamp on the administrative warrant, but it was obtained the same day that Mr. Madrid-Quezada was taken into custody at his home. Tr. at 20:23-21:10. DO King's report indicates that the operation began at 10:00 a.m. on February 16, 2017. Tr. 21:13-20. However, Mr. Madrid-Quezada estimated that the officers were at his home at approximately 6:30 a.m. Tr. at 72:7-11. DO King testified that the I-205 Warrant “was done during processing” of Mr. Madrid-Quezada, “[a]fter he was put into custody, ” but DO King could not recall “if we had it in the field, or if it was in his file at the office.” Tr. at 22:14-24. He also had a I-200 Form (“Administrative Arrest Warrant”), which precedes the I-205 and similarly allows the ICE officer to take an individual into custody if the officer encounters that person. Tr. at 83:4-14.

         DO King also testified that he had the power to arrest someone for immigration violations without a warrant. Tr. at 57:3-5. He admitted that there are limits on that authority. Tr. at 57:17- 24. For example, he cannot go into a home and speak to someone with an administrative warrant if he does not have consent. Tr. at 58:4-8.

         On the morning of February 16, 2017, DO King went to Mr. Madrid-Quezada's home. DO King testified that he approached a female outside of the building who said she knew Mr. Madrid-Quezada, and without prompting from DO King, she knocked on his door. Tr. at 7:12-18. He recalled that Mr. Madrid-Quezada “walked out and made contact with [ICE]. . . .[he] came out to the vehicle in the parking area.” Doc. 46 at ¶ 17; Tr. at 7:19, 8:2, 44:25-45:1. However, Mr. Madrid-Quezada testified that he was in front of the door when he was immediately handcuffed after affirming his name to the three officers. Tr. at 72:22-73:8. After being arrested, Mr. Madrid-Quezada testified, he was “pulled [] out” of the door and saw two officers “further ahead” with rifles. Tr. at 73: 13-18.

         DO King stated that the officers identified themselves as immigration officers, employed with Homeland Security, in addition to being dressed in vests that have markings indicating their affiliation. Tr. at 8:9-12, 45:4-12, 74:6-7. There were approximately five or six other officers in the yard with DO King, each with their own unmarked SUV. Tr. at 8:21, 26:2-10, 45:13-18, 74:1-3. Each officer was carrying a firearm, at least one of whom was carrying a rifle that was not concealed. Tr. at 45:19-46:9. DO King believed that “two or three” officers approached the residence, while the rest of the team “usually” or “probably” remained in the outlying area. Tr. at 48:17-25.

         In response to being asked his nationality, DO King stated that Mr. Madrid-Quezada said, “I have been previously removed from the United States.” Tr. at 47:11-25, 57:10-12. Mr. Madrid-Quezada denied making such a statement; rather, he stated that he told ICE he was a resident, “and they said that didn't matter.” Tr. at 74:10-11. Mr. Madrid-Quezada recalled a Spanish-speaking ICE officer telling him “that they were cleaning up the area” on President Trump's orders. Tr. at 74:17-75:3.

         Questions were asked of Mr. Madrid-Quezada over a short period of time, although DO King could only estimate what was “typical” of such encounters: “anywhere from 2 or 3 minutes to 10, 15 minutes.” Tr. at 48:14-16. When the Court asked DO King about the complexity of these questions, he indicated Mr. Madrid-Quezada answered “yeah” and would repeat the questions back to DO King or respond with an action-such as producing his identification when asked whether he had it on him. Tr. at 60:15-25. He could not recall whether Mr. Madrid-Quezada answered using more than one or two words, and admitted that the questions did not call for long explanations. Tr. at 61:13-15, 62:5-7. DO King also testified that Mr. Madrid-Quezada claimed to be a painter, but Mr. Madrid Quezada explained on direct that he is a roofer, not a painter. Tr. at 60:20, 71:19-22.

         DO King stated that Mr. Madrid-Quezada “produced a New Mexico identification card” at DO King's request, which was made in English. Tr. at 8:12-13, 48:5-11. DO King added, “He spoke real good English.” Tr. at 8:12, 55:13-17. He noted that he offered to speak to Mr. Madrid-Quezada in Spanish, but “he indicated he was very comfortable in English” and that English was his primary language. Tr. at 54:18-25, 55:12-13, 61:3-4. DO King admitted that his Spanish is limited. Tr. at 61:23. Meanwhile, Mr. Madrid-Quezada testified that he told the officers he could “speak some English, but you have to speak very slowly to me, because if you do speak fast, I won't be able to understand you.” Tr. at 76:10-17. Mr. Madrid-Quezada has achieved a fifth-grade education, and took classes in English but has never attended English-speaking classes. Tr. at 80:3-9. He acknowledged that he “sometimes” speaks in English to his roofing clients, and his children also speak to him in English but do so slowly. Tr. at 78:12-15, 78:20-79:2, 79:12-18. Mr. Madrid-Quezada noted that he feels “very at ease” with his children, which makes it easier to understand English than when he is nervous. Tr. at 79:19-23. Similarly, he stated there are other English speakers present when he needs to speak to his roofing customers in English. Tr. at 79:24- 80:2.

         Once the “identification was made, [ICE] placed the subject - the Defendant under arrest and took him to the office for further interview and questioning.” Tr. at 8:17-19. DO King testified that the ICE team “got out of the area as quick as possible.” Tr. at 9:10.

         Mr. Madrid-Quezada was then transported to a local ICE office. In the police car, DO King recalled that Mr. Madrid-Quezada was “talking about his situation . . . with his ex-wife, and he was detailing . . . what happened with his divorce, ” though Mr. Madrid-Quezada only recalled asking, “What was going to happen to me.” Tr. at 62:22-25, 80:19-81:1. DO King denied asking Mr. Madrid-Quezada questions, and could not recall how the topic came up. Tr. at 63:8-19. DO King went on ...

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