United States District Court, C.D. California, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT GLENN DESHAWN BROWNE'S
MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE
J. CARNEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Glenn Deshawn Browne has been charged with one count of
conspiracy to receive, possess, conceal, store, sell and
dispose of stolen firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
371; one count of receipt, possession, concealment, storage,
sale and disposal of stolen firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C
§ 922(j); and one count of being a felon in possession
of a firearm and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). (Dkt. 14 (Indictment).) Before the Court is
Defendant's motion to suppress evidence, namely,
“[a]ny and all observations of a Glock (Serial Number
ZFR859) blue steel semi automatic handgun with black plastic
grips, a black plastic Glock magazine with a 150 round
capacity, and 6 live 9 mm Luger rounds of ammunition.”
(Dkt. 44 [Motion, hereinafter “Mot.”] at 2.) For
the following reasons, the motion is DENIED.
August 20, 2016, at 8:13 p.m., a woman called 911 and said
“Please send a police officer, right now. To [address].
There's a man in the back with a gun.” (Dkt. Dkt.
48-1 [Declaration of Scott Tenley, hereinafter “Tenley
Decl.”] Ex. 1-A at 1:8-9.) After clarifying her
address, the 911 operator asked for a description of the man,
and the caller responded, “He's black with a black
hat. All black. And a black Camaro.” (Id. at
1:20-21.) The operator then asked if the suspect was in the
car or walking around, and she responded “He's at
my door now. He's in the back.” (Id. at
1:22-23.) When the operator asked “He's in your
backyard?” and she responded “Yeah, hurry.”
(Id. at 1:24- 25.) The caller then identified
herself as “Lisa” and provided her telephone
number.(Id. at 2:1-4.) When the operator
asked, “Do you know him? Do you know his name?”
the caller frantically responded “Come on, please,
hurry up” before providing his name
(Darquisse) and stating that he was her 36-year old
ex-boyfriend. (Id. at 2:7-15.) After some dispatch
information was shared on the call, the caller repeated her
plea, “Please hurry up” and “He's at my
door.” (Id. at 2:21-3:12.) The operator then
broadcast to officers “415 man with a gun.
[Caller's address]. Suspect is a male black wearing a
black hat. 36 years old. Black clothing. Armed with a hand
gun. It's code three incident.” (Id. at
3:5-9.) In the background of the call, someone then asked
“Who's that n***** with a gun?” before the
call was disconnected and police continued their dispatch
communications. (Id. at 3:15-23.) The police tried
to call her back but reached an automated voicemail message
that repeated her telephone number. (Id. at
Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) helicopter
responded to the scene. (Dkt. 48-3 [Declaration of Jonathan
Delgadillo, hereinafter “Delgadillo Decl.”]
¶ 6.) An officer in the helicopter confirmed that an
individual matching the suspect's description and the
Camaro were near the caller's address. (Tenley Decl. Ex.
1-A at 3:5-9; 3:19-20, 4:4-5.) He reported that the suspect
was getting “in and out” of the driver's seat
of the Camaro. (Delgadillo Decl. ¶ 6.) Officers Jonathan
Delgadillo and David Dixon were on their way to the scene
when they heard the reports from the helicopter concerning
Defendant's description and whereabouts. (Id.
¶¶ 4, 6.) They arrived at 8:16 p.m. with their
sirens blaring and saw Defendant sitting in the driver's
seat of the Camaro, and a woman (later identified as his
girlfriend, Jonhesha White) standing outside the passenger
door. (Delgadillo Decl. ¶ 7; Tenley Decl. Ex. 10.) They
drew their weapons and ordered Defendant out of the car and
then told him to lie on the ground face-down. (Delgadillo
Decl. ¶ 7.) They told the woman to come close
to the police unit. (Id. ¶ 9.) The officers
then detained Defendant and placed him in their vehicle.
(Id.) The officers had requested backup, which came
soon after Delgadillo and Dixon's arrival. (Id.
¶ 10; Dkt. 48-4 [Declaration of Alejandro Puche,
hereinafter “Puche Decl.”] ¶¶ 4-5.)
Rene Santos conducted a frisk of Defendant's outer
clothing for weapons and did not discovery any. (Mot. Ex. A
at 229.) Instead Officer Santos found multiple denominations
of currency in his pocket. (Id. at 230.) As soon as
Defendant was detained, Officers Delgadillo, Dixon, Puche,
and Armendariz searched the Camaro for weapons. (Delgadillo
Decl. ¶ 10; Puche Decl. ¶¶ 5-6; Tenley Decl.
Ex. 10 at 2:40.) Officer Puche first searched the
driver's side of the car and did not find any weapons, so
he moved on to the passenger side. (Puche Decl. ¶ 7.) He
probed underneath the passenger seat using a flashlight and
saw three white tube socks. (Id.; id. Ex.
A.) He felt the socks and they were “bulgy;” he
“suspected that the socks contained narcotics, but also
believed they could have held a weapon.” (Id.
¶ 7.) The socks actually contained bindles of U.S.
currency wrapped in rubber bands (later determined to total
about $26, 000). (Id.; Mot. at 6; id. Ex. A
at 229; Dkt. 48 [Opposition, hereinafter “Opp.”]
at 5.) Officer Puche then checked the center console area and
radio area and did not find anything there. (Puche Decl.
¶ 8.) Finally, he checked the glove box. (Id.
¶ 9.) Based on his police experience and prior
experience as an automobile mechanic, Officer Puche knew that
a “glove box tray can be quickly and easily removed by
hand.” (Id.) With his hands he pressed the
sides of the glove box and it popped off. (Id.) At
the suppression hearing, he testified that it took little
force to accomplish this-he likened it to the amount of force
necessary to squeeze a toilet paper roll. When he shined his
flashlight into the area behind the glove box, he saw the
butt of a firearm in the upper left of the cavity with the
barrel directed toward the passenger seat “as if the
driver had reached across and hidden the firearm.”
(Id. ¶ 10; id. Exs. B, C.) He
testified that the gun was easily accessible and that he
found it within seconds.
Anchondo also spoke to the female witness, “Jonhesha,
” and asked if she knew why they were there, to which
she responded that she did not. (Mot. Ex. A at 230.) She said
that Defendant was her boyfriend and they had one child
together. (Id.) She said she was at the house, her
aunt's residence, to pick up her son. (Id.) When
asked if she knew anything about the firearm, she said that
she did not. (Id.) When asked if she knew anything
about money in the vehicle, she said that her boyfriend had
just won it in Las Vegas. (Id.)
on the presence and packaging of the U.S. currency found in
the car, Officer Delgadillo formed the opinion that narcotics
might be stored in the vehicle. (Delgadillo Decl.
¶¶ 15-16.) The Camaro was towed to the LAPD
station, where it was subject to a K-9 search. (Id.
¶ 17.) The K-9 unit alerted to the rear of the vehicle
for narcotics. (Id. ¶ 18.) The police then
searched the car for narcotics but none were found.
(Id.) The K-9 also sniffed the money recovered from
the Camaro and again alerted for the scent of narcotics.
order to contest the legality of a search or seizure, the
defendant must establish that he or she had a
‘legitimate expectation of privacy' in the place
searched or in the property seized.” United States
v. Kovac, 795 F.2d 1509, 1510 (9th Cir. 1986).
“The term ‘standing' is often used to
describe an inquiry into who may assert a particular fourth
amendment claim. Fourth amendment standing is quite
different, however, from ‘case or controversy'
determinations of article III standing. Rather, it is a
matter of substantive fourth amendment law; to say that a
party lacks fourth amendment standing is to say that his
reasonable expectation of privacy has not been
infringed.” United States v. Taketa, 923 F.2d
665, 669 (9th Cir. 1991) (internal citations omitted).
“The defendant has the burden of establishing that,
under the totality of the circumstances, the search or
seizure violated his legitimate expectation of privacy in a
particular place.” Kovac, 795 F.2d at 1510.
context of an automobile search, a defendant who has
“neither a property nor a possessory interest in the
automobile, nor an interest in the property seized”
lacks Fourth Amendment standing. Rakas v. Illinois,
439 U.S. 128 (1978) (defendants lacked standing “since
they made no showing that they had any legitimate expectation
of privacy in the glove compartment or area under the seat of
the car in which they were merely passengers.”);
see also United States v. Portillo, 633 F.2d 1313,
1317 (9th Cir. 1980) (“Under the facts of this case,
Portillo is in the same position as were the petitioners in
Rakas. He was merely a passenger in the Dodge. He
‘asserted neither a property nor a possessory interest
in the automobile, nor an interest in the property
seized.'”). On the other hand, “a defendant
may have a legitimate expectation of privacy in another's
car if the defendant is in possession of the car, has the
permission of the owner, holds a key to the car, and has the
right and ability to exclude others, except the owner, from
the car.” United States v. Thomas, 447 F.3d
1191, 1198 (9th Cir. 2006). The Ninth Circuit has also
recently held that an unauthorized driver of a rental car
“only has standing to challenge the search of a rental
automobile if he received permission to use the rental car
from the authorized renter.” Id. at 1199
(“[I]t is undisputed that Thomas failed to show that he
received McGuffey's permission to use the car. Therefore,
the district court properly concluded that Thomas lacks
standing to challenge the search.”).
case, the Camaro is owned by and registered to an uninvolved
third party identified as “G.B.” (Tenley Decl.
¶ 9; id. Ex. 7.) In or around June 2016,
“G.B.” lent the Camaro to “Tanisha, ”
a woman he knew through a mutual friend, because he was not
using it and she needed a car. (Id. Ex. 2 at 1:40,
2:50.) “G.B.” regained possession of the car
approximately two months later when he was notified that the
vehicle was impounded and went to recover it. (Id.
at 1:26, 2:53.) In an interview with the police,
“G.B.” said “I guess her ...