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United States of America v. Rigoberto Rodriguez

June 29, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
RIGOBERTO RODRIGUEZ, DEFENDANT.



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

ORDER

The matters before the Court are 1) the Motion to Suppress Wiretap Evidence ECF No. 94 filed by Defendant Rigoberto Rodriguez and 2) the Motion to Suppress Evidence ECF No. 107 filed by Defendant Rigoberto Rodriguez.

The indictment in this case charges four defendants with the following two charges: 1) conspiracy to distribute controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C.§ 841(a)(1) and 846; and 2) possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance (September 25, 2008) in violation of 21 U.S.C.§ 841(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 2.

1) Motion to Suppress Wiretap Evidence ECF No. 94 Background Facts The charges in this case stem from an investigation that included eight separate wiretap authorizations each for a thirty day period. At no time during the investigation, did the Government request the interception of any lines belonging to the Defendant. All of the interceptions of the Defendant occurred over the interception of line TT#5 belonging to co Defendant Carlos Urias De La Rocha.

The wiretap was initiated on December 5, 2007 on TT#1, the line belonging to co-Defendant Cleofas Ortega-Villarreal. Prior to any wiretap application, DEA agents used a confidential informant to arrange a sale of cocaine. Defendant Carlos Urias De La Rocha was introduced to the confidential informant as a kilogram distributor of cocaine prior to the wire intercepts. During the interception of TT#1, agents learned that Defendant Carlos Urias De La Rocha was coordinating drug distribution and alien smuggling activities.

Through the affidavit in support of the sixth wiretap application, agents applied to intercept TT#5, the cellular phone belonging to Defendant Carlos Urias De La Rocha. In Paragraph 15k. of the affidavit dated November 4, 2008, the affiant stated:

Rigoberto RODRIGUEZ, ("Rodriguez") is an individual who facilitates the Ortega-Villarreal DTO's importation activities. Specifically, RODRIGUEZ coordinates the importation of narcotics from the Republic of Mexico into the United States. On numerous occasions, from August 30, 2008 to September 17, 2008, over Urias TT#5, URIAS and RODRIGUEZ discussed the construction and use of a load car with a secret compartment to be used to smuggle multi-kilogram/pound quantities of narcotics. On September 17, 2008, URIAS and RODRIGUEZ, over Urias TT#5, coordinated a meeting with an unidentified male source-of-supply to acquire ten pounds of methamphetamine. On September 25, 2008, pursuant to intercepts over Urias TT#5, investigating agents seized ten pounds of methamphetamine from RODRIGUEZ's residence in Colton, California. RODRIGUEZ resides at 1030 Oak Leaf Drive in Colton, California.

ECF No. 103-6 at 12.

In paragraph 42g. of the same affidavit in support of the sixth wiretap application dated November 4, 2008, the affiant described the September 25, 2008 seizure as follows:

On September 25, 2008, pursuant to intercepts over Urias TT#5, agents learned that URIAS was still in possession of the aforementioned ten pounds of methamphetamine while at Rodriguez' residence in Colton, California. Based upon the information, agents conducted a consensual contact with the occupants of Rodriguez' residence; RODRIGUEZ, RODRIGUEZ's wife and URIAS. After obtaining consent to search, agents discovered ten pounds of methamphetamine in a vehicle parked upon the residence's driveway. Upon discovery of the aforementioned methamphetamine URIAS denied knowledge of the methamphetamine stating that he only borrowed the vehicle from his mother-in-law [ORTEGA-VILLARREAL].

ECF No. 103-6 at 27.

Standing

Defendant has no standing to challenge any wiretap conversation to which he was not a party. "A defendant may move to suppress the fruits of a wiretap only if his privacy was actually invaded; that is, if he was a participant in an intercepted conversation, or if such conversation occurred ...


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