The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Oki Mollway Chief United States District Judge
ORDER DENYING SILVA'S MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS
On April 26, 2012, Defendant Darren Silva filed two motions to suppress. See ECF Nos. 19 and 20. The first argues that Silva, a passenger in a car, should not have been detained and that drugs seized from under the seat he occupied in the car, as well as Silva's subsequent statements, should be suppressed. The second motion argues that, because Silva did not properly waive his constitutional rights, his subsequent statements should be excluded.
An evidentiary hearing was conducted on June 29 and July 6, 2012. See ECF Nos. 100 and 105.
On July 12, 2012, Silva filed a supplemental memorandum in which he conceded that he lacked "standing to seek suppression of the drugs found at the scene of his arrest." See ECF No. 109 at 2. Silva now seeks suppression of only statements he made. Id.
Both motions to suppress are denied.
This court received oral testimony on June 29 and July 6, 2012. Based on the live testimony and the exhibits received in evidence, the court finds the following by a preponderance of the evidence.
A. Darren Lee, Richard Jones, Jaret Fernandez, Thayne Costa, Charles Rezentez, Ryan Miyataki, Adam Choka, Kriss Cockett, Sean Springer, Matthew Rumschlag, and Guy Shigemasa testified credibly.
B. Darren Lee, a nine-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department assigned to the Narcotics/Vice Division with the Airport Task Force at the Honolulu International Airport, testified that, on March 12, 2012, he received a call from Daniel Taglier of the Los Angeles Police Department. See Test. of Darren Lee, ECF No. 113 at 11-12. Taglier told Lee that, after talking with Guy Shigemasa at the Los Angeles International Airport, LAPD seized three tracking receipts--a FedEx parcel receipt and two UPS parcel receipts. Id. at 13.
C. Taglier further told Lee that Shigemasa had confessed to having flown from Honolulu to California to meet with Frank Ancheta, who planned to purchase methamphetamine. Shigemasa told Taglier that Ancheta arranged to buy eight pounds of methamphetamine. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 13-14. According to Shigemasa, four pounds of the methamphetamine were given to a Samoan individual who took it to Las Vegas. From there, it was supposed to be smuggled into Honolulu and delivered to Ancheta. Id. at 14; Test. of Richard Jones, ECF No. 113 at 55. Shigemasa said that the remaining four pounds of methamphetamine were divided into three parcels and shipped to Hawaii. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 13-14.
D. Shigemasa told the officers that Ancheta had stayed at the La Quinta Inn in Chula Vista, California. Officers verified that Ancheta had been staying there and that he paid for his room with cash. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 16-17
E. A check of the tracking numbers of the three receipts seized indicated that the FedEx package was still in Los Angeles and that the UPS packages were scheduled to arrive in Honolulu on March 13 and 14, 2012. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 15.
F. The FedEx package was seized and opened by the LAX Task Force pursuant to a search warrant. Approximately one pound of methamphetamine was found in that package. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 15.
G. The Airport Task Force in Honolulu seized the UPS package scheduled to be delivered on March 13, 2012, pursuant to a search warrant. About one pound of methamphetamine was found in that package. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 16.
H. The UPS package scheduled to be delivered on March 14, 2012, was addressed to Clifford Conte. That package was also seized pursuant to a search warrant and contained about two pounds of methamphetamine. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 16.
I. On March 13, 2012, Shigemasa flew back to Hawaii from California. See Test. of Guy Shigemasa, ECF No. 114 at 98. Shigemasa was met at the Honolulu International Airport by his girlfriend, Janice Fontes. Id. Shigemasa and Fontes spent the night of March 13, 2012, together at Fontes's home. Id.
J. In the early afternoon of March 14, 2012, law enforcement agents obtained a search warrant for Ancheta's residence on Oahu to look for the four pounds of methamphetamine that was supposedly coming in from Las Vegas. Jones Test. at 55-56, ECF No. 113.
K. On March 14, 2012, Shigemasa met with Darren Lee of HPD and the Airport Task Force at the Airport Task Force office at the Honolulu International Airport. At about 4:00 p.m., Shigemasa phoned Ancheta, with Lee listening. Shigemasa told Ancheta that he had the parcels of methamphetamine and that he wanted to meet with Ancheta to give them to him. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 19, 22-23. Shigemasa and Ancheta agreed to meet at the Mililani Shopping Center at 5:00 p.m. that day. Id. at 23.
L. Shigemasa told officers on March 14, 2012, that Conte, the person to whom one of the packages of methamphetamine was addressed, had received methamphetamine packages for Shigemasa in the past and was part of Shigemasa's "crew." Shigemasa told Lee that he paid Conte about $1,000 per package in either drugs or cash. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 21; Test. of Thayne Costa, ECF No. 113 at 177.
M. On March 14, 2012, at about 5:00 p.m., Shigemasa drove with Officer Thayne Costa of the Airport Task Force in Honolulu and Darren Lee to the Mililani Shopping Center in a Dodge Durango. Shigemasa Test., ECF No. 114 at 106; Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 23-24, 40. Officers had a picture of Ancheta and knew that Ancheta had felony drug convictions. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 20-21. Costa was in charge of the operation to apprehend Ancheta, while Special Agent Richard Jones of the DEA was running the field operation. Id.
N. When Lee, Costa, and Shigemasa did not see Ancheta at the prearranged location, Lee drove the car across the street to a Jack-in-the-Box parking lot to wait for Ancheta to arrive. As the car Shigemasa was in entered the lot, Shigemasa saw Ancheta leaning into the driver's window of a silver-gray Honda CRV parked nearby. Shigemasa pointed out Ancheta to Lee and Costa and said that the Honda CRV belonged to Conte, the man in his "crew" to whom he had been sending methamphetamine, and that Conte was in the driver's seat. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 25.
O. Shigemasa also identified Darren Silva as the person in the front passenger's seat. Shigemasa told Lee and Costa that Silva was Conte's friend, was a drug user, had just been released from jail, and was on probation for a drug offense. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 25-26, 155; Costa Test., ECF No. 113 at 166. According to Lee, that information was "put out over the radio." Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 26. Officers were not at that time able to identify a third person sitting in the back seat of the Honda CRV. Jones Test., ECF No. 113 at 94.
P. Shigemasa was initially nervous and jittery while testifying before this court. He began by testifying that, because he did not have his glasses with him, he could not see who was in the Honda CRV, although he recognized the Honda CRV as Conte's. Shigemasa Test., ECF No. 114 at 110-12. However, as his testimony progressed, Shigemasa conceded that he told Costa and Lee, "That's Clifford Conte" and that Conte was in his "crew." Shigemasa also acknowledged that, as the officers testified, he told them that "[t]he guy in the car is Darren Silva," that Silva "just got out of jail," and that Silva was a drug user. Id.
Q. The Honda CRV, which had not been in a stall when first seen, reversed into a parking stall. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 28. Costa, having informed other officers that Ancheta had been spotted, told the officers to move in and arrest Ancheta. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 27, 50; Costa Test., ECF No. 113, at 165. In response, Richard Jones, Matthew Rumschlag, and Charles Rezentez pulled into the parking lot in their respective vehicles. Lee Test., ECF No. 113 at 29. Other law enforcement officers present included Ryan Miyataki, Kris Cockett, Jeff Mertens, and Jaret Fernandez. Id. at 41-42; Jones Test., ECF No. 113 at 59-61. ...