Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Prado

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

October 29, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff
v.
LEONARDO RODRIQUEZ PRADO Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          REBECCA GRADY JENNINGS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Leonardo Rodriquez Prado's Unified Motion to Suppress Searches and Statements from Prior State Cases (the “Motion to Suppress”). [DE 92]. The United States of America filed a response to the Motion to Suppress (the “Response”), [DE 97], and United States Magistrate Judge Colin H. Lindsay issued a Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Recommendation (the “R&R”), recommending that the Motion to Suppress be denied. [DE 112]. Mr. Prado filed objections to the R&R (the “Objections”). [DE 113]. This matter is now ripe for adjudication. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will GRANT in part and OVERRULE in part Defendant's Objections.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On July 23, 2014, Louisville Metro Police Department (“LMPD”) officers arrived at the home of Mr. Prado and his girlfriend, Lisandra Diaz Garcia. Both Mr. Prado and Ms. Garcia were present. Ms. Garcia signed a “Consentimiento de Búsqueda” form (translated into English, “consent to search”). [DE 97-2]. Mr. Prado, despite being present, did not sign the “Consentimiento de Búsqueda” form. [Id.; DE 112 at 668-69]. After Ms. Garcia's written consent was obtained, a search of the home was conducted. [DE 112 at 668-69].

         Mr. Prado was arrested and interviewed at the police station. [Id. at 669; DE 115, Apr. 30, 2018 Tr., 698:9-10, ]. At the beginning of the interview, Detective McConnell, who was lead on the interview, asked LMPD Officer Ruben Cardosa to tell Mr. Prado his Miranda rights. The conversation, which is transcribed and translated, went as follows:

Speaker

Transcriptions

Translation

Detective McConnell

And the time is twelve forty-three PM. Okay, explain to him, before we talk to him, he, he, he is under arrest, and we need to read him his rights.

And the time is twelve forty-three PM. Okay, explain to him, before we talk to him, he, he, he is under arrest, and we need to read him his rights.

Officer Cardosa

Okay, tú estás arrestado. Tengo que decirte algo que, que si tú quieres hablar, [Indica al papel en la mesa: Esto que va ser es aquí]. Si tú quieres hablar, puedes hablar. Si no quieres hablar-Si tú quieres un abogado, está bien, pero si tú no puedes pa pagar un abogado, te, te pagan un abogado. Okay, now...

Okay, you are under arrest. I have to tell you something that, that if you want to talk, [Indicates to the paper on the table: This here is going to be here.] If you want to talk, you can talk. If you don't want to talk-If you want an attorney, that's fine, but if you can't pay for an attorney, they will pay for one for you. Okay, now…

Detective McConnell

Do, do you want me to start reading the rights, and you can…

Do, do you want me to start reading the rights, and you can…

Officer Cardosa

I'ma read half way through them. I just need the last part.

I'ma read half way through them. I just need the last part.

Detective McConnell

Okay.

Okay.

Officer Cardosa

Y si tú dices algo, y te van a, te van a poner en un, en un, un, un tape. Porque tú vas hablar de, lo que hay que recordar.

And if you say something, and they are going to, they are going to put you on a, on a, a, a tape. Because you are going to talk about what needs to be recorded.

Mr. Prado

Bueno.

Okay.

Officer Cardosa

Y…

And…

Detective McConnell

You have the right to remain silent.

You have the right to remain silent.

Officer Cardosa

Yeah.

Yeah.

Detective McConnell

The right to an attorney.

The right to an attorney.

Officer Cardosa

Yep.

Yep.

Detective McConnell

If you can't afford and attorney…

If you can't afford and attorney…

Officer Cardosa

Yeah, I already covered that

Yeah, I already covered that

Detective McConnell

…one will be appointed to you.

…one will be appointed to you.

Officer Cardosa

Yeah, I already covered that too. And uhm… What's left?

Yeah, I already covered that too. And uhm… What's left?

Detective McConnell

Here, let's see. You've got the right to remain silent.

Here, let's see. You've got the right to remain silent.

Officer Cardosa

Yeah.

Yeah.

Detective McConnell

Anything you say, can be used against you in a court of law.

Anything you say, can be used against you in a court of law.

Officer Cardosa

Si tú…

If you…

Detective McConnell

You have the right to an attorney. If you can't afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.

You have the right to an attorney. If you can't afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.

Officer Cardosa

I did that. Si tú dices algo, le puedes ayudar a la corte, porque todo que vas a decir, pero si tú quieres terminar, ah, terminados.

I did that. If you say something, you can help the court, because of everything you are going to say, but if you want to finish, uh, we will finish.

Detective McConnell

Y-you did cover, “Anything you say can be used against you, ”?

Y-you did cover, “Anything you say can be used against you, ”?

Officer Cardosa

Yeah.

Yeah.

Detective McConnell

Okay. And that's basically what this form says, and if you agree to waive those rights… Ask him, are you willing to talk to…

Okay. And that's basically what this form says, and if you agree to waive those rights… Ask him, are you willing to talk to…

Officer Cardosa

Pues, ¿tú quieres hablar, o tú quieres un, un abogado?

So, do you want to talk, or do you want an attorney?

Mr. Prado

Las dos cosas. [Ríe entre dientes]

Both things. [Chuckles]

Officer Cardosa

¿Quieres hablar con el con el, con él?

Do you want to talk to the, to the, to him?

Mr. Prado

Sí, lo que pregnte, yo se lo respond.

Yes, whatever he asks, I will answer.

Officer Cardosa

He says he's fine, talking to you.

He says he's fine, talking to you.

         [DE 97-5, July 23, 2014 Tr., 503:15-505:44]. As part of the above conversation with Mr. Prado, Officer Cardosa asked Mr. Prado, in Spanish, “[s]o do you want to talk, or do you want an attorney?” [DE 97-5, July 23, 2014 Tr., 505:40]. Mr. Prado replied, “both things.” [Id. at 505:41]. Mr. Prado's response, however, was delivered in Spanish, and his response was not translated to Detective McConnell. [Id. at 505:41; DE 113 at 686]. Officer Cardosa then asked Mr. Prado whether Mr. Prado wanted to talk “to him, ” using his hand to indicate Detective McConnell. [DE 97-5, July 23, 2014 Tr., 505:42; DE 112 at 673]. Mr. Prado replied in Spanish: “[y]es, whatever he asks, I will answer.” [DE 97-5, July 23, 2014 Tr., 505:43]. Detective McConnell was then told by Officer Cardosa that Mr. Prado was fine talking with him. Mr. Prado was then given a Spanish-language waiver of rights form. [DE 112 at 673-74]. Mr. Prado initialed each of an enumerated list of rights and signed the form, after which the interview began. [DE 97-4 at 499; DE 97-5, July 23, 2014 Tr., 505:49-508:98].

         On December 29, 2014, Mr. Prado's vehicle was searched during a traffic stop. [DE 74 at 398]. Both Mr. Prado and Ms. Garcia were in the vehicle at the time of the stop. [DE 112 at 669]. Ms. Garcia signed a “consent to search” form per this vehicle search. [DE 97 at 492]. The next day, December 30, 2014, Mr. Prado was interviewed and made further statements to LMPD officers. [DE 97-8, Dec. 30, 2014 Tr., 494:2, 585:283].

         On August 17, 2016, Mr. Prado was indicted on several counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 1343, and 1028A((a)(1). [DE 1]. On December 21, 2017, Mr. Prado moved this Court to suppress the evidence from the search of his home, the July 23, 2014 police interview, the December 29, 2014 search of his vehicle, and the December 30, 2014 interview. [DE 92]. On January 24, 2018, the United States filed a Response to that Motion (the “Response”) that included several attached exhibits. [DE 97]. Mr. Prado did not file a reply.

         This Court referred the matter to Magistrate Judge Lindsay, who heard arguments from Mr. Prado and the United States at an April 30, 2018 hearing. Magistrate Judge Lindsay denied Mr. Prado's request for an evidentiary hearing for failure to make an initial showing of contested facts. [DE 109]. Additionally, at that hearing, the United States indicated that it would not seek to introduce any evidence from the December 30, 2014 interview. [DE 115, Tr., Apr. 30, 2018 708:13-18]. Pursuant to permission granted by Magistrate Judge Lindsay, Mr. Prado submitted a supplemental brief in support of his Motion to Suppress (the “Supplement”). [DE 110; DE 115, Apr. 30, 2018 Tr., 722:19-21]. On June 15, 2018, Magistrate Judge Lindsay submitted an R&R recommending that the Motion to Suppress be denied as to evidence procured from the July 23, 2014 search of the house, the July 23, 2014 interview, and the December 29, 2014 search of the vehicle.[1] [DE 112]. On June 27, 2018, Mr. Prado timely filed objections to the R&R. [DE 113].

         II. OBJECTIONS

         Mr. Prado raises three objections to the R&R. First, Mr. Prado objects to Magistrate Judge Lindsay's factual finding that the stop of Mr. Prado's vehicle was precipitated by a traffic offense. [DE 113 at 682-83]. Second, Mr. Prado objects to Magistrate Judge Lindsay's decision not to hold an evidentiary hearing concerning the lawfulness of the July 23, 2014 search of Mr. Prado's home. [Id. at 684-86]. Finally, Mr. Prado objects to Magistrate Judge Lindsay's conclusion that the July 23, 2014 interview did not violate Mr. Prado's Miranda rights. [Id. at 686].

         A. Standard of Review

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 59, a district court may refer a motion to suppress to a magistrate judge for the preparation of a report and recommendation. “The magistrate judge must promptly conduct the required proceedings [and] enter on the record a recommendation for disposing of the matter, including any proposed finding of fact.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(1). This Court must “make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specific proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3). The Court need not review under a de novo or any other standard those aspects of the report and recommendation to which no specific objection is made and may adopt the findings and rulings of the magistrate judge to which no specific objection is filed Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150, 155 (1985).

         B. Mr. Prado's Objection To The Finding Of Fact That The Stop Of Mr. Prado's Vehicle Was Precipitated By A Traffic Offense.

         Mr. Prado's first objection concerns the R&R's factual finding that the traffic stop leading to the December 29, 2014 search of his vehicle was precipitated by a traffic offense. [DE 113 at 1-2]. Mr. Prado asserts that the only evidence in the record concerning the alleged traffic offense is an after-the-fact investigative report prepared by an officer who was not present during the traffic stop. Id. at 2. Mr. Prado objects to the Court's consideration of this investigative report on the grounds that it is “after the fact hearsay.”

         “[T]he same rules of evidence governing criminal jury trials are not generally thought to govern [suppression] hearings.” United States v. Matlock, 415 U.S. 164, 173 (1974). Specifically, there is “no automatic rule against the reception of hearsay evidence” in suppression hearings. Id. at 175. Therefore, the Magistrate did not err in considering this evidence.

         Additionally, Mr. Prado did not argue that the evidence from the search of Mr. Prado's vehicle should be suppressed because the traffic stop was illegal. Instead, Mr. Prado's arguments focused on the sufficiency of the consent to search given by Ms. Garcia after the traffic stop was made. As a result, this factual issue is not material to Mr. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.