United States District Court, D. New Mexico
Alejandro Fernandez Attorney for Mr. Madrid-Quezada
Wisecup Assistant United States Attorney
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VÁZQUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on the government's
Response to this Court's July 23, 2019 Memorandum Opinion
and Order Granting In Part and Denying In Part
Defendant's Motion to Suppress, and Motion for an Order.
Doc. 62. Defendant filed a timely Reply. Doc. 63. The
government's Response requests that this Court issue an
order (1) finding that Defendant's alien file
(“A-File”) is not subject to suppression, and (2)
clarifying whether Defendant's fingerprints are subject
to suppression. Having reviewed the briefs, exhibits,
testimony, and relevant law, for the reasons set forth below,
the Court HEREBY ORDERS that Defendant's
A-File and fingerprints are subject to suppression.
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, Mr. Madrid-Quezada filed a Motion to
Suppress, arguing that his oral and written statements, as
well as the contents of his 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 statements he
made during an administrative encounter in 2000 should be
suppressed because he was neither given Miranda
warnings nor advised of the criminal implications of his
statements at the time the statements were made. Doc. 45
¶ 12. The government responded that Mr. Madrid-Quezada
was 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. Doc. 46 at 6.
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 from
Mr. Madrid-Quezada. The Court took the Motion under
advisement. On July 23, 2019, the Court issued a Memorandum
Opinion and Order granting Mr. Madrid-Quezada's Motion to
suppress in part. Doc. 61. Specifically, the Court denied Mr.
Madrid-Quezada's motion as it pertained to statements he
made during the 2000 administrative encounter [id.
at 19-21], granted the motion as it pertained to statements
he made during the 2017 encounter [id. at 26-28],
and granted the motion as it pertained to the contents of Mr.
Madrid-Quezada's A-File “unless the government can
offer proof that the A-File was obtained before the illegal
arrest” [id. at 26].
government filed a Response on July 30, 2019, with exhibits
purporting to demonstrate that the A-File was
“obtained” prior to the February 16, 2017 arrest.
See Doc. 62, Ex. 1-3. Specifically, the government
submitted the following documents: an affidavit from DO King
stating that he instructed an employee to request the A-File
on or about August 23, 2016, and that he received the A-File
on or about August 29, 2016 [Ex. 1]; a copy of the email
requesting the A-file that was sent on August 23, 2016 [Ex.
2]; and a printout from the Citizenship and Immigration
Services database showing that the A-file was received in the
Albuquerque Field Office on August 29, 2016 [Ex. 3]. On the
basis of these exhibits, the government asks the Court to
issue an order “(1) finding that Defendant's alien
file is not subject to suppression because it was obtained
prior to the arrest at issue in this case, and (2) clarifying
whether Defendant's fingerprints obtained following his
arrest, which would have been obtained even if Defendant had
not been presented for criminal prosecution, are subject to
the Court's suppression order.” Id. at 2.
Madrid-Quezada filed a Reply to the Government's
Response, asking the Court to suppress his fingerprints and
thereby establish the suppression of his A-File. Doc. 63 at
6. Mr. Madrid-Quezada argues that in order for the government
to prove that the A-File was “obtained” prior to
the arrest, the government would have to show that the A-File
was “matched” or “paired” with Mr.
Madrid-Quezada prior to the arrest, not merely that the
arresting officer had custody of the A-File. See
July 23, 2019 Memorandum Opinion and Order, this Court found
that Mr. Madrid-Quezada's 2017 arrest was illegal because
“the evidence established that the administrative
warrant was employed as an instrument of criminal law
enforcement, used to circumvent the criminal process's
legal restrictions.” Doc. 61 at 25. The Court hereby
incorporates by reference its reasoning and conclusions from
its July 23, 2019 Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning the
illegality of the arrest.
concluded that the arrest was illegal, the Court next ruled
that identity information obtained from that unconstitutional
arrest should be suppressed. Doc. 61 at 25-26. The Court
based this ruling on its examination of I.N.S. v.
Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984) and subsequent
circuit court cases interpreting Lopez-Mendoza. Doc.
61 at 17-19. The Court hereby incorporates by reference its
reasoning and conclusions from its July 23, 2019 Memorandum
Opinion and Order regarding the suppression of
identity-related evidence. After concluding that
identity-related evidence obtained from the unconstitutional
arrest of Mr. Madrid-Quezada should be suppressed, the Court
considered the A-File specifically:
With respect to the A-File, DO King could not recall whether
it was requested and obtained upon receiving the Lead
Referral or after the arrest. He merely speculated that he
believed he had it before the arrest. Given that DO King
could not testify conclusively when the A-File was obtained,
and importantly whether the A-File was obtained before Mr.
Quezada-Madrid's illegal arrest, it is unclear whether
the A-File would constitute poisonous fruit of the illegal
arrest. See Olivares-Rangel, 458 F.3d at 1119.
Accordingly, the Court will suppress Mr. Madrid-Quezada's
A-File unless the government can offer proof that the A-File
was obtained before the illegal arrest.
Doc. 61 at 26. The government in its Response has provided
documentation to show that the A-File was in DO King's
custody prior to the arrest. Doc. 62 Ex. 1-3. The Court
agrees with the argument put forth by Mr. Madrid-Quezada in
his Reply [Doc. 63] that the mere fact that the A-File was in
DO King's custody prior to the arrest did not mean that
he had meaningfully “obtained” the A-File prior
to the arrest, ...