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United States v. Adams

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

December 12, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DAIN JUSTIN ADAMS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         This matter comes before the Court upon Defendant Dain Justin Adams' Motion to Suppress Evidence, filed October 23, 2019. (Doc. 116). Defendant Adams seeks to suppress all evidence obtained as a result of the search of the residence located at 3809 Zinnia Road on June 27, 2018. Id. at 1-2. The United States filed its response to the motion on November 8, 2019. (Doc. 126). On February 12 and 13, 2019, an evidentiary hearing was held on a similar motion filed by Co-Defendant Jade Tiffany Laurezo. Neither Defendant Adams' Motion to Suppress nor the United States' response raise any legal issues or factual allegations that were not previously addressed in the prior proceedings regarding Defendant Laurezo's suppression motion. Therefore, the Court finds that an additional hearing on Defendant Adams' motion is unnecessary. Having considered the Motion to Suppress, the United States' response, the applicable law, and the record of the proceedings for Defendant Laurezo's suppression motion, the Court denies Defendant Adams' Motion to Suppress.

         I. Background

         On June 26, 2018, Detective Raul L. Valderaz with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Chaves County Sheriff's Office applied for and was granted a search warrant for 3809 Zinnia Road, Roswell, New Mexico. (Doc. 116) at 19-30. The affidavit in support of the search warrant set forth the following information: on March 27, 2018, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a CyberTipline Report of three uploaded files of child pornography, linked to email address dayton66xx@gmail.com; on May 16, 2018, and May 29, 2018, Special Agent Owen Pena with the Office of the Attorney General of the New Mexico Investigation Division downloaded the sexually explicit materials from IP address 199.83.119.146; on June 18, 2018, Special Agent Pena received the requested subscriber information, listing an individual named Dain Adams as the registered owner of the IP address and linking the account's service address to 3809 Zinnia Road, Roswell, New Mexico; on June 22, 2018, Detective Valderaz traveled to 3809 Zinnia Road, observed a 2007 Toyota Pickup truck, and verified that Dain Adams was the registered owner of the truck. Id. at 25-30.

         The search warrant for 3809 Zinnia Road authorized law enforcement officers to search the residence for:

All electronic data processing and storage devices, computers and computer systems including central processing units; internal and peripheral storage devices such as fixed disks, external hard disks, floppy disk drives and diskettes, tape drives and tapes, memory cards, USB thumb drives, optical storage devices or other memory storage devices; peripheral input/output devices such as keyboards, cameras, printers, video display monitors, optical readers and related communication devices such as modems; together with system documentation operating logs and documentation, software and instruction manuals, handwritten notes, logs, user names and lists. All images, video cassette tapes and/or motion pictures, which may contain any, unclothed and/or partially unclothed male and/or female children under the age of eighteen. All images, videocassette tapes and/or motion pictures portraying children under the age of eighteen engaged in sexual conduct or involved in lewd exhibition of the genitals. All images, photographs, film or negatives, which may contain unclothed and/or partially unclothed male and/or female children under the age of eighteen. All images, photographs, film or negatives which may contain children under the age of eighteen engaged in sexual conduct or involved in lewd exhibition of the genitals. All books, magazines, documents, advertisements portraying children under the age of eighteen engaged in sexual conduct, posed in sexually explicit positions or that contains unclothed or partially unclothed children under the age of eighteen. All documents tending to show occupancy and/or ownership for the home, including personal identification, bills, receipts, canceled mail, utility bills, rent receipts and bank statements. Photographs of the interior/exterior of the residence.

Id. at 25.

         On June 27, 2018, Detective Valderaz executed the search warrant. Id. at 21. Inside the 3809 Zinnia Road residence, Detective Valderaz encountered Defendant Laurezo, later identified as Defendant Adams' girlfriend, and Donnie and Marsha Roberson, Defendant Adams' parents. (Doc. 55) at 6, ¶ 36. Detective Valderaz confirmed that Defendant Adams lived at the address but was not present at that time. (Doc. 57) at 4. In the northwest bedroom, Detective Valderaz found multiple electronic devices, including a Samsung DUOS cellphone. Id.; (Doc. 26) at 12. After the search of the residence, Detective Valderaz obtained warrants to search each of the electronic items seized, including the Samsung DUOS cellphone. (Doc. 26) at 12. On July 3, 2018, Detective Valderaz searched the Samsung DUOS cellphone and discovered two videos featuring an adult female engaging in sexually explicit conduct with one male child between the ages of four and six years old. (Doc. 1) at 6-7. The adult female was later identified as Defendant Laurezo and the male child was identified as her son. (Doc. 55) at 7, ¶ 46.

         Defendant Laurezo was indicted on October 17, 2018, on one count of Production of Visual Depictions of a Minor Engaging in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(a), (e), and 2256, and one count of Possession or Access With Intent to View Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2252A(a)(5)(B), (b)(2), and 2256. (Doc. 21). On March 20, 2019, Defendants Laurezo and Adams were charged by superseding indictment with two counts of Possession of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2252A(a)(5)(B), (b)(2), and 2256; one count of Production of Visual Depictions of a Minor Engaging in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(a), (e), and 2256; and two counts of Distribution of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(2), (b)(1), and 2256. (Doc. 53).

         On November 27, 2018, Defendant Laurezo filed a motion to suppress evidence obtained from her cell phone. (Doc. 26).[1] The motion was referred to Chief United States Magistrate Judge Carmen Garza for an evidentiary hearing, legal analysis, and recommendation of an ultimate disposition. (Doc. 35). Chief Magistrate Judge Garza held an evidentiary hearing on February 12 and 13, 2019, during which Detective Valderaz, Chavez County Sheriff's Office Deputy Hector Ramirez, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officer Daniel Subia, FBI Special Agent David De Los Santos, Donnie Roberson, and Defendant Laurezo testified, and 58 exhibits were admitted. (Docs. 49, 50, and 51). On March 25, 2019, Defendant Laurezo and the United States each filed proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. (Docs. 55 and 57). Chief Magistrate Judge Garza entered her proposed findings and recommended disposition (“PFRD”) on the motion to suppress on May 2, 2019, (Doc. 68). Defendant Laurezo filed objections to the PFRD on May 16, 2019, (Doc. 71), and the United States filed a response to the objections on May 31, 2019, (Doc. 79). On June 12, 2019, the Court adopted the PFRD, overruled the objections, and denied the motion to suppress. (Doc. 81).

         On October 31, 2019, Defendant Laurezo pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to one count of Production of a Visual Depiction of a Minor Engaging in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(a) and 2256(2)(A). (Doc. 123).

         On November 13, 2019, Defendant Adams was charged by a third superseding indictment with one count of Possession of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(5)(B), (b)(2), and 2256; one count of Conspiracy to Produce Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(a), (e), and 2256; one count of Receipt of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(2), (b)(1), and 2256; one count of Aiding and Abetting Aggravated Sexual Abuse, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c) and 2; and three counts of Distribution of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(2), (b)(1), and 2256. (Doc. 129).

         Defendant filed his Motion to Suppress, in which he contends the warrant to search the 3809 Zinnia Road residence violates his Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights because it was not supported by probable cause and lacked sufficient particularity. (Doc. 116) at 2-13. Defendant Adams asks the Court to suppress all evidence seized as a result of the search of the residence and for a hearing pursuant to Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978), challenging the affidavit in support of the search warrant. Id. at 13-16. Finally, Defendant Adams argues the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule does not apply. Id. at 16.

         In response, the United States contends the arguments raised by Defendant Adams have already been considered and rejected by the Court and that Defendant Adams offers no reason for the Court to reconsider its rulings. (Doc. 126) at 1-4. The United States further argues Defendant Adams' motion fails on the merits because the warrant was supported by probable cause and was not overly broad. The United States also agrees Defendant Adams has not met the standard for a Franks hearing. Id. at 4-7. Additionally, the United States argues the good faith exception applies to any deficiencies in the search warrant. Id. at 7-8.

         II. ...


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