The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Louis Goldstein ("Goldstein") has been charged under
18 U.S.C. § 659 with possession of gold salts and an emerald
stolen from a Federal Express facility while in interstate
commerce, knowing the items to have been stolen. Goldstein now
moves to suppress the emerald, which federal agents seized at
his home. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and
order, the motion is denied.
Goldstein (a Chicago jeweler) bought the emerald from
co-defendant and long time acquaintance Louis Cane for $3,500.
Later Cane began cooperating with federal law enforcement
officials and agreed to help the government retrieve the
emerald from Goldstein.
On December 21, 1983 Cane went to Goldstein's store and
offered to buy back the emerald on behalf of an undisclosed
buyer. Goldstein told Cane he had given the emerald to his
wife. When Goldstein then called her on the telephone, she
expressed an unwillingness to sell it.
On January 31, 1984 Cane returned to the store and again
offered to buy the emerald, this time talking directly with
both Goldstein and his wife. Again Mrs. Goldstein said she was
unwilling to part, with the stone, but Cane offered her $9,500
and asked her to think about it for a few days.
On February 3, 1984 Cane and FBI agent Al Jennerich
("Jennerich") went directly to the Goldsteins' home. Goldstein
was at the store, but Mrs. Goldstein was at home. Cane
introduced Jennerich to Mrs. Goldstein as the prospective
buyer of the emerald and she allowed them to enter the house.
Once more she explained her reluctance to sell the emerald,
but at Cane's urging she agreed at least to show it to them.
When she did so Jennerich identified himself as an FBI agent
and seized the emerald.
Fourth Amendment Standards
Goldstein argues the emerald should be suppressed because
Jennerich's deceit in gaining entrance to the home and
persuading Mrs. Goldstein to show him the emerald:
1. unreasonably violated Goldstein's
expectation that the emerald would remain private
in his home; and
2. vitiated Mrs. Goldstein's consent to allow
Cane and Jennerich into the home.
Those arguments miss the constitutional mark by a wide margin.
Those cases are inapposite here because Jennerich was acting
in an undercover capacity rather than in his official
capacity. Hoffa v. United States, 385 U.S. 293, 301-02, 87
S.Ct. 408, 413-414, 17 L.Ed.2d 374 (1966) explained the Fourth
Amendment is not implicated when a person invites an undercover
agent into his or her home and voluntarily divulges
incriminating information or evidence. In that circumstance the
person relies not on the security interest protected by the
Fourth Amendment ("unwarranted governmental intrusion," id. at
301, 87 S.Ct. at 413), but rather on ...