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United States v. Madrid-Quezada

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

October 30, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JULIAN MADRID-QUEZADA, Defendant.

          Alejandro Fernandez Attorney for Mr. Madrid-Quezada

          Jason Wisecup Assistant United States Attorney

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MARTHA VÁZQUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS 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.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         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, 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.

         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 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].

         The 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.

         Mr. 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 generally id.

         DISCUSSION

         In its 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.

         Having 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, ...


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