Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, State of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Gregory M. Culet, District Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Melanson, Judge
Judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, affirmed.
Roberto Moran-Soto appeals from his judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Specifically, Moran-Soto challenges the district court's denial of his motion to suppress. The state asserts that Moran-Soto's appeal should be dismissed because Moran-Soto has absconded from probation and remains a fugitive from justice. For the reasons set forth below, we deny the state's motion to dismiss and affirm Moran-Soto's judgment of conviction.
Two police officers entered a tavern and noticed a napkin on the bar, which looked like it contained plastic bags. An officer approached the bar, opened the napkin, and discovered what appeared to be bindles of methamphetamine inside. The officers then told everyone in the tavern to stay where they were and began to question the bartender, who became unruly and refused to cooperate with police. The officers handcuffed the bartender and began to question a nearby man at the bar, who admitted that the drugs were his. The man claimed that Moran-Soto, who was also seated at the bar, had earlier attempted to sell him drugs.
An officer then began to question Moran-Soto in English. First, the officer asked Moran-Soto to provide his identification. Moran-Soto handed the officer an identification card from Mexico, which the officer used to run a warrant check through dispatch. After doing so, the officer set Moran-Soto's identification card on the bar. The officer then asked Moran-Soto if he had anything illegal on his person, and Moran-Soto answered that he did not and then told the officer to check for himself. The officer declined, being wary of reaching into Moran-Soto's pockets due to the possibility of needles being present, but he asked Moran-Soto to empty his pockets. Moran-Soto complied and emptied the contents of his pockets onto the bar. The officer again asked if Moran-Soto possessed anything illegal, and Moran-Soto raised his arms and said, "Check." The officer reached into Moran-Soto's pocket and located a bindle of what appeared to be methamphetamine.
The officer placed Moran-Soto in handcuffs and began to read him his Miranda*fn1 rights. Moran-Soto replied that he did not understand what the officer was saying. The officer asked the owner of the tavern to translate the Miranda rights into Spanish for Moran-Soto. Thereafter, Moran-Soto admitted to the officers that the bindle of drugs from his pocket belonged to him.
Moran-Soto was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. I.C. § 37-2732(a)(1)(A). Moran-Soto filed a motion to suppress the verbal and physical evidence obtained by the officers in the incident. Following a hearing, the district court denied the motion to suppress the physical evidence, but granted the motion with regard to Moran-Soto's statements made after his arrest as having been elicited in violation of Miranda. Moran-Soto entered a conditional guilty plea, reserving the right to appeal the denial of his motion to suppress. The district court sentenced Moran-Soto to a unified term of ten years, with a minimum period of confinement of three years, but suspended Moran-Soto's sentence and placed him on probation for five years. Moran-Soto appeals.
The state filed a motion to dismiss Moran-Soto's appeal, arguing that Moran-Soto had absconded from supervision because he had been deported and failed to file written reports with his probation officer. Moran-Soto, through counsel, filed an objection to the state's motion, asserting that Moran-Soto is not a typical fugitive from justice who should be punished by the dismissal of his appeal.
There are two issues currently before this Court. First, we will address the state's motion to dismiss. Second, this Court will address the district court's denial of Moran-Soto's motion to suppress.
Moran-Soto was sentenced on January 16, 2009. The district court did not issue Moran-Soto's written judgment of conviction and order suspending his sentence until February 10, 2009. The judgment included probation terms requiring Moran-Soto to submit a written report to his probation officer every month and to contact the Department of Correction within five days of his re-entry into the United States. On March 12, 2009, Moran-Soto's probation officer filed a report of probation violation in the district court, stating that Moran-Soto had been deported and failed to file a truthful written report every month as required by his terms of probation. The report also ...