Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Denials of Motions to Suppress, Withdraw Plea Upheld

US v. Salas-Garcia, -- F.3d --, 2012 WL 5192768 (10th Cir. 10/22/12) (NM) - the district court properly denied the motion to suppress. Officers knew from ci that one of two vehicles arriving at a hospital parking lot in Albuquerque was carrying a large quantity of cocaine. They did not exceed the scope of an investigatory detention by handcuffing Salas-Garcia, the driver of one vehicle, for four to ten minutes in order to ensure officer and public safety. Salas-Garcia was released from handcuffs after he proved to be unarmed and cooperative.

The COA also dismisses Salas-Garcia's appeal from the district court's denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Because the magistrate judge had accepted Salas-Garcia's plea and there was no indication it was accepted on a conditional or provisional basis, Salas-Garcia was not entitled to withdraw his plea as of right. His conditional guilty plea reserved only the right to appeal the district court's denial of his motion to suppress. And because the immigration consequences of the guilty plea were clear from the plea agreement and the plea hearing, the court finds Salas-Garcia knowingly and voluntarily entered into the plea agreement.