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United States v. Saldana-Vasquez

April 15, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARTIN SALDANA-VASQUEZ, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge

ORDER

The matter before the Court is the motion to suppress statements filed by Defendant Martin Saldana-Vasquez. (Doc. # 7-3).

FACTS

On October 20, 2009, Defendant applied for admission into the United States through the Calexico, California West Port of Entry. Defendant was the driver of a Ford Windstar. Defendant's sister was a passenger in the vehicle. Defendant was referred to secondary inspection. At secondary inspection, Customs and Border Patrol Officers found eight packages in the vehicle which they believed contained methamphetamine.

After formal arrest, Defendant was interviewed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The interview was videotaped. The video shows that Defendant initially answered background questions asked by Special Agent Stout in the English language. Special Agent Estrada then informed the Defendant in the Spanish language that he was arrested for importation of drugs, and that he will be taken to jail. Agent Estrada informed the Defendant of his Miranda rights. Defendant stated that he understood each of his rights. Agent Estrada informed the Defendant that the agents were conducting an investigation into the people involved with the importation and that this was his opportunity to tell the agents what happened. Defendant stated that his sister did not have "anything to do with this." (Defendant's Transcript Doc. # 10 at page 27).

Defendant: She was along for a ride.

Estrada: And until ... that is determined, we can't let anyone go. Right now both of you are arrested and we have to take you to jail. I mean that's the way the laws are.

Defendant: Okay.

Id. Agent Estrada asked the Defendant to read aloud the statement of rights and the waiver of rights.

Defendant: I prefer to talk to you [] without signing this because I need an attorney.

Estrada: Okay, so, you are asking for an attorney--.

Defendant: Yes...

Estrada: Okay, so, you're not going to sign this because you're not, you're ...


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