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United States v. Castillo

United States District Court, D. Idaho

August 29, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MARIANO CASTILLO, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill, Chief Judge United States District Court

         INTRODUCTION

         The Court has before it a motion to suppress evidence filed by defendant Mariano Castillo. The Court held an evidentiary hearing and took testimony from the arresting officer, Eric Duke. At the conclusion of that hearing, the Court took the motion under advisement, and ordered further briefing. That briefing has now been received. After considering the testimony of Officer Duke, the video of the Officer's body camera, and the briefing by counsel, the Court will deny the motion for the reasons explained below.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On January 11, 2017, Nampa Police Department Officer Eric Duke received a tip that Castillo might be dealing drugs from his home. After setting up surveillance on Castillo's home, Officer Duke observed a vehicle leaving with no taillights after dark. He called for a drug detection canine, and pulled the vehicle over, immediately recognizing Castillo in the driver's seat. Officer Duke knew that Castillo was a documented gang member, and had been found six months earlier with drugs and a firearm, for which he received a felony conviction.

         Officer Duke asked Castillo for his driver's license, registration and proof of insurance. Castillo provided his driver's license, but could not locate the vehicle registration or proof of insurance. Officer Duke asked Castillo where he was coming from and whether the address on his driver's license was current. After Castillo answered those questions, Officer Duke then engaged in the following exchange with Mr. Castillo:

Officer Duke: Do me a favor, just keep your hands up where I can see ‘em, okay. I know last time I was with you, you had a gun, okay. Is there anything illegal in the vehicle?
Mr. Castillo: No Officer Duke: Knives, drugs, guns, weapons of mass destruction?
Mr. Castillo: No.
Officer Duke: Nothing like that?
Mr. Castillo: [Inaudible]
Officer Duke. Okay. Umm . . . . Would you give me permission to search the vehicle to make sure that's a true and honest statement?
Mr. Castillo: Honestly, it's not my vehicle.
Officer Duke: Okay.
Mr. Castillo: A friend just let me use it, that's why I'm looking for the registration.
Officer Duke: Okay. Did you, uh, did you waive your rights, to, uh, Fourth Amendment rights ...

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