from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. Nos. 13 CR 21; 13 CR
968 - Thomas M. Durkin, Judge.
Manion, Kanne, and Hamilton, Circuit Judges.
Vicente Quiroz brokered large drug transactions. For his role
in a methamphetamine transaction, he was convicted after a
bench trial in January 2015. (Case No. 16-3518.) Then, in a
second trial in July of that year, he was convicted by a jury
for his role in a marijuana transaction. (Case No. 16-3510.)
both trials, Quiroz moved to suppress statements he made
after his arrest, arguing that he was not read his
Miranda warnings. The district court found that the
warnings were given and that Quiroz voluntarily waived his
rights. It admitted into evidence Quiroz's statements in
district court also admitted several out-of-court statements
at both trials. It admitted recorded conversations between
Quiroz and the government's confidential informant. And
it admitted recordings of other declarants under the hearsay
exception for coconspirator statements.
consolidated appeal from his convictions in both trials,
Quiroz argues that the district court improperly admitted his
own post-arrest statements and the out-of-court statements of
the confidential informant and coconspirators. We disagree,
so we affirm both of Quiroz's convictions.
2011, Benjamin Vance met Vicente Quiroz. In May 2012, Vance
was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Agency ("DEA")
for trafficking in cocaine and began cooperating with the
government. In a series of recorded phone calls from October
2012 through January 2013, Vance and Quiroz arranged the
purchase of approximately 70 pounds of methamphetamine and
approximately 1, 200 pounds of marijuana. Quiroz brokered the
transactions, setting Vance up with the sellers.
Investigation and Arrest of Quiroz
October 2012, Quiroz told Vance that he had arranged for two
suppliers to deliver 50 pounds of methamphetamine to Vance.
Under the DEA's direction, Vance told Quiroz that he knew
a pilot who could pick up the methamphetamine in Indio,
California. Quiroz responded that he would send a courier
named Javier to deliver the methamphetamine to Vance's
pilot and gave Vance that courier's phone number. On
October 10th, an undercover DE A agent posed as the pilot and
called that number. His call was returned by a man who
identified himself as Javier. Javier agreed to meet the agent
at a McDonald's, where he delivered a box containing 10
packages of methamphetamine totaling nearly 22 pounds in
weight. The DEA surveilled the encounter.
week later, Quiroz asked Vance if he wanted to pick up more
methamphetamine in the Chicagoland area, giving him the
number of a courier named Cesar. Cesar and Vance arranged to
meet in the parking lot of Rivers Casino near O'Hare
airport. Under DEA surveillance, Vance went to the parking
lot wearing a recording device. There, Cesar took a box from
his car and placed it into Vance's vehicle. That box
contained 22 packages of methamphetamine totaling about 44
pounds in weight.
January 2013, Quiroz told Vance that he had an available
marijuana delivery and that he would give the courier, later
identified as Hector Barraza, Vance's number. Vance and
Barraza arranged the delivery, and they met at a
McDonald's outside Berwyn, Illinois. Vance asked to see
the marijuana before he agreed to purchase it. Barraza
indicated the marijuana was nearby, and the two then met at a
Denny's restaurant under DEA surveillance. Barraza
delivered a black bag of marijuana to Vance, then left to get
the rest. The DEA arrested Barraza after he returned to the
Denny's parking lot in a van containing 202 cylinders of
marijuana totaling about 1, 200 pounds in weight.
March 27, 2013, DE A Agents Christopher O'Reilly and
David Brazao arrested Quiroz outside his mother's home in
Phoenix, Arizona. The officers placed him in the back seat of
Agent O'Reilly's car while the agents conducted a
protective sweep of the home with Quiroz's consent. After
the security search, Agent O'Reilly read Quiroz his
Miranda rights, reciting them partly from his
Miranda card and partly from his own memory.
According to Agent O'Reilly's testimony, Quiroz did
not seem confused in any way or ask any questions; he was
nervous but "seemed to understand everything [the
agents] were saying." (Bench Trial R. 204 at 39.) When
asked if he understood the rights that had just been read to
him, Quiroz responded, "I did nothing."
(Id. at 38, 73.)
O'Reilly and Brazao then explained their investigation
and told him about the phone recordings they had acquired.
Quiroz then made inculpatory statements. The agents
transported Quiroz to the DEA office in Phoenix. There,
Quiroz told agents he would not sign any Miranda
waiver or other paperwork, but he continued to engage with
the agents and made more inculpatory statements.
Admission of Quiroz's Post-Arrest Statements
final pretrial conference before the bench trial, Quiroz told
the district court, "I never got my Miranda rights
written. I never signed a waiver so that person can come and
say, 'He made a statement.'" (Bench Trial R. 154
at 26.) The government then told the court that Quiroz had
been orally advised of his Miranda rights, to which
Quiroz responded, "[T]hey've never read me my
Miranda rights." (Id. at 30.) The
district court decided to hold a suppression hearing. Agent
O'Reilly was the only government witness; Quiroz did not
present any evidence.
district court found that Quiroz waived his Miranda
rights. The court credited Agent O'Reilly's testimony
that Quiroz was in fact read his Miranda warnings.
It went on to find that Quiroz's statement-"I did
nothing"-was a voluntary knowing, and intelligent waiver
of his rights. ...