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United States v. Gonzalez-Villa

May 31, 2007

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
OMAR GONZALEZ-VILLA, AND JESUS GONZALEZ-MENDOZA.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Samuel Der-yeghiayan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the court on Defendant Omar Gonzalez-Villa's ("Gonzalez-Villa") motion to suppress evidence and Defendant Jesus Gonzalez-Mendoza's ("Gonzalez-Mendoza") motion to quash arrest and motion to suppress evidence. For the reasons stated below, we deny Gonzalez-Villa's motion to suppress evidence and deny Gonzalez-Mendoza's motion to quash arrest and motion to suppress evidence.

BACKGROUND

On October 6, 2005, Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") agents instructed a cooperating source to approach Gonzalez-Villa in regards to purchasing Gonzalez-Villa's truck that he advertised for sale. During the meeting between the cooperating source and Gonzalez-Villa, the cooperating source asked Gonzalez-Villa about obtaining a "sample" of narcotics. (T. 13). At this time, Gonzalez-Villa spoke to the cooperating source, who was outfitted with recording devices and an audio transmitter, about the sale of "chiva," (T. 12), which DEA agents understood to mean cocaine, for $65,000 per kilogram. At the conclusion of the meeting, the cooperating source and Gonzalez-Villa made arrangements to meet later in the day so that Gonzalez-Villa could provide the cooperating source with a sample of the narcotics.

When Gonzalez-Villa left the meeting with the cooperating source, DEA agents, including Agent Glynn, continued surveillance on Gonzalez-Villa. During their surveillance, DEA agents observed Gonzalez-Villa entering a residence at 2849 North Austin Avenue in Chicago, Illinois ("2849 North Austin Residence"). The DEA agents further observed Gonzalez-Villa leave this residence with a plastic bag containing a white substance. Upon leaving the residence, the DEA agents followed Gonzalez-Villa to his residence at 1623 South 61st Avenue in Cicero, Illinois ("Gonzalez-Villa Residence"). During a subsequent search of the 2849 North Austin Residence, DEA agents recovered narcotics in the form of a kilogram of heroin, over one kilogram of cocaine, and certain quantities of marijuana and steroids.

Later in the day on October 5, 2005, the cooperating source met with Gonzalez-Villa to obtain a sample of narcotics. After the meeting with Gonzalez-Villa, the cooperating source provided DEA agents with a sample of heroin that the cooperating source received from Gonzalez-Villa. At this point in time, the DEA agents testified at the suppression hearing that they had probable cause to arrest Gonzalez-Villa, but they did not do so in order to continue to investigate Gonzalez- Villa so that they might obtain the identity of co-conspirators, locate other residences where narcotics were kept, and protect the cooperating source.

On October 7, 2005, at approximately 9:40 a.m., Agent Glynn and Agent Claybrook, who was sitting in the rear passenger seat of Agent Glynn's vehicle, were performing surveillance on the Gonzalez-Villa Residence when they observed Gonzalez-Villa driving with his wife and children in an automobile in an alley behind the Gonzalez-Villa Residence. At this point, Agent Glynn activated the lights on his vehicle and pulled over Gonzalez-Villa's automobile. After stopping Gonzalez-Villa's automobile, Agent Glynn, wearing a vest reading "Police," (T. 110), approached the automobile and identified himself as a law enforcement officer and instructed Gonzalez-Villa to exit the vehicle. The DEA agents did not have their guns drawn at this time.

After Gonzalez-Villa exited the vehicle, Agent Glynn performed a pat-down search. During the pat-down search, Gonzalez-Villa quickly reached into his left rear trouser pocket, at which time Agent Glynn handcuffed Gonzalez-Villa. Although Agent Glynn subsequently discovered that Gonzalez-Villa was reaching for his cellular telephone, Gonzalez-Villa was kept in handcuffs for the safety of the DEA agents. However, Gonzalez-Villa's wife and children were not placed in handcuffs. Agent Glynn subsequently attempted to speak with Gonzalez-Villa, but Gonzalez-Villa claimed to only speak Spanish and not English. At this point, Agent Glynn contacted Agent Vargas, whose native language was Spanish, so that the DEA agents could communicate with Gonzalez-Villa. While waiting for Agent Vargas to arrive, Agent Glynn placed Gonzalez-Villa in the front passenger seat of Agent Glynn's vehicle.

Approximately twenty minutes after Agent Glynn stopped Gonzalez-Villa's vehicle, Agent Vargas arrived and began to question Gonzalez-Villa outside of Agent Glynn's vehicle. After speaking with Agent Vargas, who did not have his gun drawn, for approximately ten minutes, Gonzalez-Villa told Agent Vargas that there was a large sum of money and eight kilograms of cocaine in a pickup truck in the garage of the Gonzalez-Villa Residence. After this admission, Gonzalez-Villa then signed a written consent form allowing the DEA agents to search the Gonzalez-Villa Residence, including the garage. When the DEA agents arrived outside of the Gonzalez-Villa Residence, Gonzalez-Villa told the DEA agents to just take the money in the garage and leave. The DEA agents then discovered three kilograms of heroin, four kilograms of cocaine, and approximately $100,000 in cash located in the truck, which was located in the garage. At this point, Agent Vargas read Gonzalez-Villa Miranda warnings orally in Spanish. After Gonzalez-Villa was read his Miranda rights, he spoke about his role in narcotics trafficking and money laundering.

After the DEA agents searched the garage, they then searched the living area of the Gonzalez-Villa Residence. When the DEA agents entered the home, they discovered Gonzalez-Mendoza, who was Gonzalez-Villa's relative and shared the home with Gonzalez-Villa, seated in the kitchen. The DEA agents then identified themselves to Gonzalez-Mendoza, patted him down for weapons and escorted him into the living room, where he was asked to sit. While in the living room Gonzalez-Mendoza was not arrested and not placed in handcuffs. Agent Vargas then spoke with Gonzalez-Mendoza and Gonzalez-Mendoza stated that he had helped to package the money and drugs that the DEA agents discovered in the pickup truck. Throughout the remainder of the day, Gonzalez-Mendoza was located either in the living room or in the garage and, at certain times, placed in handcuffs when he was moved.

At approximately 12:40 p.m., Agent Vargas gave Gonzalez-Villa a written Miranda form in Spanish and advised Gonzalez-Villa of his Miranda rights in Spanish. Gonzalez-Villa then acknowledged his understanding of his constitutional rights by signing the form. In addition, Gonzalez-Mendoza was orally read his Miranda warnings at approximately 1:15 p.m. in Spanish. At approximately 5:30 p.m., Gonzalez-Villa and Gonzalez-Mendoza were taken to the Berwyn, Illinois Police Department, where Gonzalez-Mendoza was presented with a written form that described his Miranda rights. After acknowledging that he understood his Miranda rights, Gonzalez-Mendoza gave a statement that was similar to the statement that he gave in his home.

Gonzalez-Villa has moved to suppress the evidence obtained during the traffic stop and subsequent search of his residence. In addition, Gonzalez-Mendoza has moved to quash his arrest and suppress the evidence obtained throughout the search of his residence. On May 8, 2007, we held an evidentiary hearing relating to these motions.

DISCUSSION

I. ...


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