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United States v. Alfaro

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DIVISION


October 6, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOSE ALFARO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Manuel Real United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE DERIVED FROM UNLAWFUL DELEGATION OF WARRANT EXECUTION TO NON LAW ENFORCEMENT CIVILIANS FOR HIRE

Having heard from plaintiff, the United States of America, by and through its counsel of record, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, and defendant ALEX SANCHEZ, by and through the authorized representative of his counsel of record, Kerry Bensinger, at a hearing held before this Court on September 16, 2010, and good cause appearing, the Court hereby FINDS AS FOLLOWS

1. The Court read and considered Alex Sanchez's Motion to Suppress Evidence Derived from Unlawful Delegation of Warrant Execution to non Law Enforcement Civilians for Hire filed on July 30, 2010, the government's opposition, and defendants' reply thereto.

2. On September 16, 2010, this Court held a hearing on the motion. Defendant appeared in person with his counsel of record. After affording an opportunity for argument from the parties, the Court denied defendant's Motion to Suppress. Title 18, United States Code, Section 2518(5) provides that the government may contract with civilians to intercept wiretap communications provided that they supervise. The Ninth Circuit observed in United States v. Reed, 575 F.3rd 900 (9th Cir. 2009), that the statute does not require the government to follow any specific protocol, and the legislative history surrounding this provision indicates that the government must only provide a reasonable level of substantial and actual supervision consistent with the field agent's need to perform other investigatory duties. The affidavits provided in support of the wiretap applications all indicate that persons intercepting calls would be presented with the affidavit, the wiretap authorization order and minimization protocols, and combined with the affidavits submitted in support of the government's opposition indicate that the civilian contractors were properly supervised within the meaning of Title 18, United States Code, section 2518(5). THEREFORE, FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant Alex Sanchez's Motion to Suppress Evidence Derived from Unlawful Delegation of Warrant Execution to non Law Enforcement Civilians for Hire is denied.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20101006

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