Thursday, July 17, 2014

ICE Officials Lacked Reasonable Suspicion to Detain Defendant; Fingerprints and A-File Must Be Suppressed

U.S. v. Achana-Suaso, 2014 WL 2782365 (6/20/14) (Col.) (unpub'd) - Olivares-Rangel victory continues to do good. In this case, the government conceded ICE officers had no reasonable suspicion to continue Mr. Achana-Suaso's detention based on his lack of familiarity with English and his presence in a drug-dealing area. The government also conceded there was a factual nexus between the constitutional violation and the taking of Mr. Achana-Suaso's fingerprints and the subsequent retrieval of his A-file. The 10th held the district court clearly erred when it found the prints and A-file were obtained for routine booking purposes [which would make the prints admissible] where the government presented no evidence regarding booking procedures and the acquisition of the prints and the A-file. Mr. Achana-Suaso's admission following his illegal seizure that he entered this country illegally was insufficient to show he was not fingerprinted for an investigatory purpose. Otherwise, "widespread unconstitutional conduct" would be condoned. Impressively, the 10th refused to afford the government an opportunity to present the missing booking evidence. Olivares-Rangel, the 10th asserts, "is now well-established precedent." The government should have known it had the burden to prove the purpose of the print-taking. The prints and the A-file must be suppressed, the 10th orders.