United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER AFFIRMING IN PART AND REJECTING IN PART THE
RECOMMENDED DECISION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Vicente moves to suppress from evidence any statements he
made during and following his arrest on September 7, 2016
contending that he made the initial statements without the
benefit of a Miranda warning, which rendered the
subsequent Miranda warnings ineffective. The
Government maintains that because the initial statements were
not the result of custodial interrogation, the warnings were
effective and none of the statements is excludable.
Magistrate Judge concluded that the officer's pre-warning
questions fell within the routine booking exception to
Miranda and recommended that the Court deny the
motion to suppress in its entirety. After a de novo
determination, the Court affirms the Magistrate Judge's
recommended decision except with respect to the statements
made about heroin in response to the officer's question
of whether the defendant “took any drugs.” The
Court therefore denies in part and grants in part Mr.
Vicente's motion to suppress.
8, 2016, a federal grand jury indicted Michael Vicente with
one count of knowingly and intentionally conspiring with
others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a
mixture or substance containing oxycodone, a Schedule II
controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
846, 841(a)(1). Indictment (ECF No. 3). Mr. Vicente
pleaded not guilty to Count One of the Indictment on October
6, 2016. Min. Entry (ECF No. 12).
October 26, 2016, Mr. Vicente filed a motion to suppress any
statements he made both before and after being advised of his
Miranda rights on the date of his arrest. Mot.
to Suppress (ECF No. 17) (Def.'s Mot.). On
November 15, 2016, the Government objected to the
Defendant's motion. Gov't's Obj. to
Def.'s Mot. to Suppress (ECF No. 20)
Magistrate Judge held an oral argument on the motion on
January 11, 2017 and issued a recommended decision on
February 7, 2017. Min. Entry (ECF No. 24);
Recommended Decision on Def.'s Mot. to Suppress
(ECF No. 25) (Rec. Dec.). On February 20, 2017, Mr.
Vicente objected to the recommended decision. Def.'s
Obj. to the Magistrate Judge's Recommended Decision
(ECF No. 26). The Government responded to Mr. Vicente's
objections on February 23, 2017. Gov't's Resp. to
the Def.'s Obj. to the Recommended Decision of the
Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 27).
PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT
September 7, 2016, at approximately 7:00 a.m., law
enforcement officers knocked on the door of Mr. Vicente's
residence in Thomaston, Connecticut. A woman answered the
door. When the officers asked if Mr. Vicente was home, the
woman directed the officers to a first floor bedroom where
Mr. Vicente was sleeping. One of the officers, Agent Nappi,
recognized Mr. Vicente from a photograph he reviewed earlier.
Agent Nappi handcuffed Mr. Vicente with his hands in front of
in the bedroom, Mr. Vicente told the officers his name was
“Michael, ” that he had been stabbed in the
abdomen on the previous day but had left the hospital against
medical advice, and that he was addicted to
heroin. When the officers noticed a cellular
telephone on the bed next to Mr. Vicente, Mr. Vicente said
the phone belonged to him.
officers subsequently placed Mr. Vicente in a law enforcement
vehicle to transport him to the local police station. On
route to the police station, one of the officers read Mr.
Vicente his Miranda rights. Mr. Vicente said he
understood his rights and agreed to speak with the law
enforcement officers. After arrival at the police station,
Mr. Vicente was placed in an interview room where Mr. Vicente
made other statements, including that “Warren”
was probably responsible for his arrest, that he would
“take care” of “Warren, ” that he
only came to Maine to “get high, ” that he was
not a large-scale drug distributor, and that he only sold
oxycodone, which he obtained through a legitimate
Magistrate Judge's Recommended Decision is on a motion to
“suppress evidence in a criminal case, ” 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), this Court reviews the
Recommended Decision de novo. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B);
see also Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3) (“The
district judge must consider de novo any ...