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United States v. Sandoval

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

December 31, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
OSCAR EULALIO SANDOVAL, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Cheryl R. Zwart, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Defendant has filed a motion raising several grounds for suppressing evidence collected by the government, including 1) recordings from inside a Quality Inn hotel room, 2) evidence obtained when a Motel 6 hotel was entered at the time of Defendant's arrest; and 3) and evidence obtained during a post-arrest search of a Motel 6 hotel room on July 5, 2018. (Filing No. 39). Defendant claims:

1) As to a Quality Inn hotel room, the government's use of audio and video recording devices by CIs who entered that room was a warrantless search, unreasonable, and violated the Fourth Amendment; 2) As to Defendant's arrest at Motel 6, Detective Roskey's entry into the room without a warrant was an unlawful search, and all evidence seen during that entry must be suppressed.
3) As to the search of the Motel 6 hotel room:
a. The search of the Motel 6 room was conducted without a valid warrant because:
• The warrant application lacked a sufficient showing of probable cause;
• The warrant was based on unlawfully obtained information; and
• The warrant had not been signed by a judge when the search began.
b. The warrant was unlawfully executed after 8:00 p.m.

(Filing Nos. 41 and 50).

         “A warrant is supported by probable cause from the viewpoint of a reasonably prudent police officer acting in the circumstances of a particular case.” United States v. Reinholz, 245 F.3d 765, 776 (8th Cir. 2001). “The determination of whether or not probable cause exists to issue a search warrant is to be based upon a common-sense reading of the entire affidavit.” United States v. Seidel, 677 F.3d 334, 338 (8th Cir. 2012) (internal quotations omitted). “To satisfy the particularity requirement of the fourth amendment, the warrant must be sufficiently definite to enable the searching officers to identify the property authorized to be seized.” United States v. Horn, 187 F.3d 781, 788 (8th Cir. 1999).

         Defendant argues the warrant to search the Motel 6 hotel room is invalid because the warrant application included information that was obtained illegally. Specifically, Defendant claims Detective Roskey's entry into the motel room without a warrant at the time of Defendant's arrest was illegal, and any evidence the officer saw as a result of that unlawful entry cannot be considered when reviewing the warrant application. An illegal entry will not invalidate a subsequent search warrant where information acquired as a result of the illegal entry was not necessary to the finding of probable cause supporting the warrant. U.S. v. Packer, 730 F.2d 1151, 1156 (8th Cir. 1984).

         After removing the alleged unlawfully obtained evidence, the search warrant application states:

• The affiant officer, Ryan Roskey, is an experienced law enforcement officer. On July 5, 2018, he received information from a reliable confidential source that Defendant was staying at the Motel 6 located at 3511 S. 84th St. in Omaha, Nebraska. At that time, Sandoval was the subject of an extraditable felony warrant out of California and was ...

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