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UNITED STATES v. GOLDSTEIN
June 17, 1985
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
LOUIS GOLDSTEIN, DEFENDANT.
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 incriminating statements he made to FBI
agents. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and
order, the motion is granted.
In early 1984 Louis Cane ("Cane")*fn1 told the FBI he had
sold Goldstein the stolen gold salts and emerald. On February
3, 1984 FBI agents Andy Caster ("Caster") and James Kuntzelman
("Kuntzelman") entered Goldstein's store, Lucky Lou's Coin
Shop, to question him about Cane's assertions. Caster wore a
Nagra body recorder and taped the entire conversation, during
which Goldstein admitted purchasing the stolen goods.*fn2 For
present purposes the most significant parts of the
conversation involve the agents' representations (or more
accurately misrepresentations) about Goldstein's status as a
potential witness rather than as a target of their
At that point the agents played for Goldstein a tape of a
conversation recorded ten days earlier, in which Cane and
Goldstein had discussed Cane's sale to Goldstein of the gold
salts and emerald. Caster then said (Tr. 14):
Lou, I think that at this point and time you
wanna evaluate what you've told us, okay? And
seriously consider what's gonna be to your
advantage. And disadvantage. Denying what has
actually happened is not gonna help you.
That conversation, you confirmed in fact that you
had purchased an emerald from Cane. We know for a
fact that, that emerald was stolen from Federal
Express. Okay? You had mentioned earlier that you
have never purchased stones from him, from from
Cane. That's not true. Okay? Stop the lying now,
and let's start talking the truth.
Once more Goldstein denied any recollection of buying gold
salts or an emerald from Cane. Caster again pushed him (Tr.
. . you won't gain anything by following the
path, other than just being straight out with us,
okay, as to what's taken place. Alright. Cause
we're investigating the the thefts from the
When Goldstein hesitated again, Caster pursued the issue (Tr.
CASTER: (Sighs). In order to make this
recording [of the Cane-Goldstein conversation],
we had to have somebody's consent. Since it
wasn't yours, it had to have been his. Okay? Now
if he's telling me that he sold to you, five
pounds of gold salts on one occasion, and 20
pounds on another occasion, since this has been
proven true and confirmed by yourself and your
wife, I can only assume that he's accurate and
that he's told us the truth about him selling you
GOLDSTEIN: What you're saying makes sense.
CASTER: So as I told you before, I'd just like
to finish this out, and you be straightforward
with us. We're trying to solve it. I wanna
know . . .
CASTER: . . how often, the amount you paid and
what you did with the items? Okay?
GOLDSTEIN: Okay, ah, now, what's, what's my
best (inaudible). Ah, I see where I sit now. Ah,
I don't know if I'm in deep trouble or no trouble
CASTER: We don't know how deep the water is. I
agree with you.
GOLDSTEIN: Okay, ah, do I need a lawyer at this
point or or ah, am I candid to talk to ya. I mean
what position am I in? Ah, to do, if, if, if, you
say I if I did everything that you've said I did,
ah, am I ah, ah, an accomplice to anything? Ah,
what what, what is my ah, situation in this
ah . . .
CASTER: (Clears throat). .
GOLDSTEIN: And Lou Lou Cane, ah, ah, he came in
here, the other day . . . with your knowledge. .
GOLDSTEIN: Ah, and ah, what he's saving his own
neck to trap me? Or or ah, I just don't
CASTER: I, I don't, I can't explain what
anybody's motives are. Okay? We happen to know
that the thefts took place. We're now trying to
solve the crime.
CASTER: We believe we have solved it. We're now
trying to find out who eventually got the gold
salts, so that we can make proper restitution to
the rightful owners. Okay? That's, that's what
it's all about. Okay, so whether you want, need
an attorney, that's something that you can decide
and that's something that we aren't really
allowed to advise or suggest to you.
CASTER: One of the things that we're interested
in knowing, was who was responsible for
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