United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON MOTION TO SUPPRESS
Z. SINGAL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant's Motion to Suppress (ECF No. 29).
The Court held an evidentiary hearing on September 25, 2018.
As explained herein, the Court now DENIES the Motion.
following facts are drawn from the preponderance of the
evidence based upon the Court's consideration of the
testimony of Special Agent Janine Rocheleau and all of the
exhibits admitted at the hearing on Defendant's Motion:
morning of March 20, 2018, Special Agent James Sauer, Special
Agent Jeremy Anderson, both with the U.S. Department of
State, Diplomatic Security Service (DOS-DSS), along with
another DOS-DSS administrative employee, traveled to Vermont.
Once there, they met with Special Agent Janine Rocheleau of
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office
of Inspector General (HUD-OIG).
Sauer had previously contacted SA Rocheleau in June 2017
seeking her assistance in locating an individual that he
believed was living in Section Eight housing in Vermont. SA
Rocheleau was able to find an address for Hussien Noor
Hussien, the target of Sauer's investigation. Thereafter,
Rocheleau conducted surveillance of the address in question
and ultimately identified two vehicles registered to Hussien.
this initial surveillance complete, Rocheleau met up with her
three colleagues from DOS-DSS shortly before noon on March
20. Dressed in plain clothes with no weapons displayed, all
four of them drove in a single vehicle to Hussien's
residence in Winooski, Vermont. They hoped they would find
Hussien Noor Hussien at his residence and interview him. Upon
arrival, they noticed that none of the vehicles Hussien was
thought to drive were present at the residence. SA Rocheleau
then recognized a Toyota Highlander that she believed
belonged to Hussien at a nearby red light. The agents
followed that vehicle to a local TD Bank and parked in the
bank parking lot. Once parked, SA Sauer and SA Rocheleau
exited the vehicle and walked around the bank where they
ultimately encountered Hussien in his vehicle having just
apparently conducted a banking transaction at a drive-up
window teller. SA Sauer approached Hussien's vehicle,
identified himself, and indicated he would like to speak with
Hussien about some passport issues. Hussien indicated he
would talk to the agents and SA Sauer then asked him to park
his car in a nearby parking spot at which point the Sauer,
Rocheleau, and Anderson approached his vehicle on foot.
Rocheleau approached the driver side of Hussien's SUV
while Sauer and Anderson went over to the passenger side of
the parked vehicle. Because it was a cold, the agents asked
if they could enter the vehicle, which Hussien allowed. At
that point, SA Sauer got in the front passenger seat and SA
Anderson got in the rear passenger seat. SA Rocheleau stood
by the driver side door, a position from which she could
watch Hussien's hands and make sure everybody was
safe. Because the driver side window was rolled
down, SA Rocheleau could hear the entirety of the interview
from this position. SA Anderson recorded the entire
Sauer began the interview by giving Hussien a false statement
warning. He then provided Hussien with written
Miranda warnings in both English and Somali.
See Gov't Exs. 3A & 3B. Hussien indicated he
could not read either version of the written warning and
needed further explanation. SA Sauer then proceeded to give
Hussien an oral Miranda warning.
Sauer then began his interview by showing Hussien a
photograph. Hussien indicated he knew the man in the
photograph “from the refugee camp” and indicated
his name was “Abukar Addullah.” SA Sauer then
stated, “when you came to the United States you said
you were him.” Hussien then proceeded to provide more
details about how he was married to the wife of the man in
the photograph. Sauer proceed to ask a series of questions
about Hussien's children and their names, his birthdate,
and his employment. Hussien was able to understand and answer
all of these questions. In response to some of Sauer's
questions, Hussien clearly indicated he did not understand
the question and sought clarification. As the questioning
continued, Hussien acknowledged that he used the name
“Abukar” when he filled out paperwork in the
interview progressed, SA Sauer explained to Hussien that the
agents had already spoken with multiple people who indicated
that Hussien “pretended to be Abukar Hasson Abdul so
[he] could come to the United States with [his first wife]
and her children.” (Gov't Ex. 2 at 39.) While
acknowledging having gone by an alternative name, Hussien
maintained he did not have a problem.
SA Sauer completed his questioning of Hussien, SA Rocheleau,
who was still standing by the driver's side window,
proceeded to ask Hussien some questions regarding his use of
both of his current name and his prior name, Abukar Abdul, on
various Section Eight housing paperwork. She also asked what
name Hussien used when interacting with his family.
interview ended, SA Sauer provided Hussien with a copy of his
business card and told Hussien, “We might have to talk
later on. I'm going to see if I can get this straightened
out for you.” (Gov't Ex. 2 at 60.) Sauer and the
other agents thanked Hussien and exited the vehicle, which
had remained running for the entirety of the interview. The
whole interview lasted approximately fifty minutes. During
that time, Hussien never asked to end the interview or speak
with an attorney.