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. Diggs

United States District Court, D. Nevada

January 12, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DEARRL DIGGS, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Gloria M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Court

         Pending before the Court is the Report and Recommendation, (ECF No. 33), entered by Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach on November 14, 2016, granting Defendant Dearrl Diggs's (“Defendant's”) Motion to Suppress, (ECF No. 17). The Government timely filed its Objection, (ECF No. 37), to the Report and Recommendation, and Defendant timely filed a Response, (ECF No. 38).

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 26, 2016, an Indictment, (ECF No. 1), was entered charging Defendant with Felon in Possession of a Firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). (Indictment at 1-2). The Indictment issued following Defendant's arrest by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (“LVMPD”) Officers Spurling and Donegan. (R. & R. 1:13- 17, ECF No. 33). Defendant was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over by Officers Spurling and Donegan for failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign. (Id. 1:13-14). While Officer Spurling was talking to the driver of the vehicle, Officer Donegan asked Defendant for identification; Defendant at first gave the officer a false name, and then later identified himself as Dearrl Diggs. (Id. 2:3-9). Officer Spurling approached Defendant and asked if there were any guns or weed in the car, to which Defendant replied no. (Id. 2:12-16). Because Officer Spurling had already recovered a baggie in a vile from the driver, which appeared to contain narcotics residue, and he was therefore going to conduct a search of the vehicle, Defendant was asked to exit the vehicle. (Id. 2:16-19).

         Officer Spurling informed Defendant that he was going to conduct the search and asked Defendant again if he had any weapons. (Id. 2:19-21). Defendant nodded his head “yes, ” but stated “no.” (Id. 2:21-24). Once Defendant was outside of the vehicle, Officer Spurling performed a pat-down search and escorted Defendant to the curb behind the vehicle. (Id. 3:3- 5). Officer Spurling instructed Defendant to sit on the curb with his legs crossed in front of him, and told him not to “feel like he needs to do anything stupid, ”. (Id. 3:5-7). Both Officers testified that Defendant was not free to leave at this time. (Id. 3:9-10).

         Officer Spurling asked the driver who was seated on the curb next to the Defendant if there were any drugs or guns in the vehicle, to which Defendant stated there was a weapon. (Id. 3:11-12). Officer Spurling questioned Defendant about the type and ownership of the weapon, and Defendant provided the requested information; Spurling placed Defendant in handcuffs. (Id. 3:11-16). Officer Spurling checked the car, found a gun, and then read Defendant his Miranda rights. (Id. 3:16-20). Defendant stated he understood his rights, and Officer Spurling continued to question him concerning the gun. (Id. 4:1-5). The Officers discovered the gun was stolen and arrested Defendant. (Id. 4:6-8).

         In his Motion to Suppress, Defendant seeks to suppress the statements he made prior to and after the Miranda warning as a violation of Miranda v. Arizona and Missouri v. Seibert. (Mot. to Suppress 1:19-21, ECF No. 17). On November 9, 2016, Judge Ferenbach held an evidentiary hearing, wherein both Officers Spurling and Donegan testified. (See ECF No. 30). In the Report and Recommendation, Judge Ferenbach found that the “absence of a Miranda warning during [Defendant's] initial custodial interrogation warrants the suppression of [Defendant's] pre-warning statement.” (R. & R. 8:19-21).

         Additionally, Judge Ferenbach found that the post-warning statements should also be suppressed because the “lack of curative measures [by the Officers] renders [Defendant's] post-warning statements inadmissible.” (Id. 14:24-25). As such, Judge Ferenbach recommended granting Defendant's Motion and suppressing all statements made after Defendant was seated on the curb. (Id. 15:1-5).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A party may file specific written objections to the findings and recommendations of a United States Magistrate Judge made pursuant to Local Rule IB 1-4. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); D. Nev. R. IB 3-2. Upon the filing of such objections, the Court must make a de novo determination of those portions of the Report to which objections are made. Id. The Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the Magistrate Judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); D. Nev. IB 3-2(b).

         III. DISCUSSION

         The Government asserts three objections to Judge Ferenbach's Report and Recommendation granting the Motion to Suppress. (Obj., ECF No. 37). First, the Government argues that Judge Ferenbach erred in finding that the Defendant was in custody when he made his pre-Miranda statements. (Id. 4:10-12). Second, the Government argues that Judge Ferenbach erred in finding that Officer Spurling used a deliberate two-step interrogation technique. (Id. 4:12). Third, the Government argues that Judge Ferenbach erred in finding that the Miranda warnings were not effective so as to render Defendant's statements inadmissible. (Id. 4:13-14). The objections will be addressed in turn.

         A. First Objection: Custody

         Having reviewed the record in this case, the Court agrees with the Government that Defendant was not in custody when he made his pre-Miranda statements. In the Report and Recommendation, Judge Ferenbach found that the language, the officer's tone, and the degree of pressure applied all found in favor of Defendant being in custody. (R. & R. 5:11-8:16). Although he deemed the physical surroundings of the interrogation as neutral, and the duration of the detention was deemed against a finding of custody, Judge Ferenbach concluded that, based on the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person in Defendant's position would have felt unable to terminate the encounter with the Officers and leave. (R. & R. ...


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.