United States District Court, D. Minnesota
H. Nelson, Assistant United States Attorney, United States
Attorney's Office, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of
Zayed, Esq., Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Minneapolis, MN, on
behalf of Defendant Kelvin Baez.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge
for a ruling on Defendant Kelvin Baez's
(“Baez”) Motion to Reconsider [Docket No. 189].
Baez asks the Court to reconsider its December 19, 2017
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Docket No. 160]
(“Order”) denying Baez's Motion to Suppress
Statements, Admissions, and Answers [Docket No. 51]
(“Motion to Suppress”). For the reasons set forth
below, the Motion to Reconsider is denied.
5, 2017, at approximately 7:15 p.m., while on routine patrol,
Bloomington Police Officer Jacob Gruber (“Officer
Gruber”) pulled over Defendant Rodolfo Anguiano, Jr.
(“Anguiano”) for a traffic violation. Hr'g
Tr. [Docket Nos. 114, 115] at 33-34, 37, 43-44. Anguiano told
Officer Gruber that he was visiting from California to attend
a cousin's wedding and was staying at the Embassy Suites
on American Boulevard, which was a few blocks from the site
of the traffic stop. Id. at 50-51. Officer Gruber
observed dryer sheets spread over the front and back interior
of Anguiano's car. Id. at 46. Based on this
observation and Anguiano's answers to Officer
Gruber's questions, Officer Gruber became suspicious that
Anguiano was trafficking drugs. Id. at 54. A drug
detecting canine was called to sniff the outside of the car.
Id. The dog expressed interest in the undercarriage
of the car but did not give a formal alert for drugs.
Id. at 57. As Officer Gruber was returning
Anguiano's driver's license, he saw an imitation Drug
Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) badge and about a
dozen cards that appeared to be credit cards in
Anguiano's wallet. Id. at 57-62. Anguiano was
then arrested and brought to jail. Id. at 64, 66.
Law enforcement officers performed an inventory search of the
car and found a satchel containing $4, 000 in cash, two
additional imitation DEA/FBI badges, and credit cards in
other people's names. Id. at 61, 64-65. While
searching the car, the officers noticed that the dashboard
and other interior panels appeared to be loose, as though the
inside of the car had been taken apart. Id. at 65.
that same day, Officer Gruber and two other law enforcement
agents went to the Embassy Suites on American Boulevard to
continue their investigation of Anguiano's suspected drug
trafficking. Id. at 128-31, 281. The front desk
confirmed that Anguiano was registered to Room 714.
Id. at 68, 129-30. The officers went to Room 714 and
knocked on the door, which was opened by Defendant Zyaira
Marie Gavino (“Gavino”). Id. at 69. The
officers asked Gavino if they could speak with her, and she
stepped back and motioned for the officers to enter the
two-room suite. Id. at 70, 284-85.
inside the door to Room 714 was a living room area that
included a pull-out couch. Id. at 71, 191, 304. A
separate bedroom was down a small, open hallway. Id.
at 71, 76. The door to the separate bedroom was open, and an
armoire was visible through the doorway. Id. at 190.
The doors of the armoire were locked together with a rigid
chain lock. Id. at 76.
later identified as Baez was sitting on the couch in the
living room. Id. at 71. A set of GM car keys was
beside him on the couch. Id. at 78. A glass
methamphetamine pipe with residue in plain view was on an end
table next to Baez. Id. at 72-73, 286, 305. A
backpack, suitcase, and other luggage were in the living room
with Baez and Gavino. Id. at 72.
and Gavino admitted to the officers that they had been
smoking methamphetamine. Id. at 286-87. Gavino also
told Officer Gruber that she and Baez were married and were
visiting a friend at the hotel, and that they had been
staying there with him for a few days. Id. at 75,
324; Gov't Ex. 5 at 3. Gavino stated that she knew the
friend only by his nickname. Hr'g Tr. 75, 324. Officer
Gruber then asked for Gavino's consent to conduct a
search. Id. at 75. She agreed and pointed to a
suitcase, backpack, and bags that she identified as hers.
Id. at 75, 78, 287. Officer Gruber also requested
and received Gavino's consent to search the room.
Id. at 75. Baez made no statements regarding
consent. Id. at 79.
Gruber searched the backpack and found men's clothing and
a small bag with four .22 caliber bullets. Id. at
78, 193. The backpack also contained an owner's manual
for a Chevy Equinox that matched a set of GM keys Officer
Gruber saw in plain view on the living room couch.
Id. Upon finding the bullets, Officer Gruber
informed Gavino and Baez that they were being detained for
safety reasons due to the possibility that there may be a gun
in the suite. Id. at 193-94. Gavino and Baez were
then handcuffed. Id. at 193.
enforcement officers proceeded to search the entire suite.
Id. at 76-79. In the back bedroom, the officers
observed in plain view what appeared to be drug packaging
material in an open-topped garbage can. Gov't Ex. 5
(“Search Warrant Aff.”) at 3. In the far corner
of the bedroom, the officers observed that a cell phone had
been propped up to face the locked armoire. Hr'g Tr. at
77. The cell phone appeared to be monitoring the armoire by
streaming a live video image from the phone camera to a
Facebook Live website. Id. Officer Gruber asked Baez
where narcotics might be if any were in the room, and he
testified that Baez responded, “Well, in the armoire,
obviously.” Id. at 79. Based on this comment,
Officer Gruber requested a K-9 officer to conduct a dog sniff
of the room. Id. at 81. The drug dog alerted to the
armoire and to an adjacent dresser. Id.
Gruber “popped off” the front panel of a sink
cabinet in the back bedroom and found a plastic bag that
contained a pillowcase with two large bundles of what he
believed to be multiple pounds of methamphetamine.
Id. at 79. Upon finding the large quantity of
suspected drugs, the officers decided to freeze the room and
obtain a search warrant to search the rest of the room,
including the armoire, and the Chevy Equinox. Id. at
80. Gavino and Baez were placed under arrest at this time and
were transported to the Bloomington Police Department.
Id. at 82-83.
obtaining a warrant to search the hotel room, the officers
opened the armoire and found additional methamphetamine and a
handgun. Id. at 83-84. They also searched the Chevy
Equinox and found methamphetamine, marijuana, and a gun.
Id. at 84.
next afternoon, May 6, 2017, DEA Task Enforcement Officer Tom
Maloney (“Officer Maloney”) interviewed Gavino
and Baez separately at the Bloomington Police Department.
Id. at 204-05, 217, 220-21, 249. Officer Maloney had
a preexisting federal investigation against Baez and Gavino
that had been ongoing for the past few months. Id.
at 261-62. At the beginning of his interview with Baez,
Officer Maloney read him his Miranda rights and Baez
stated that he understood them. Id. at 252,
Gov't Ex. 6, Lines 56-61. Officer Maloney also informed
Baez that he had been investigating him for several months.
Gov't Ex. 6, Lines 130-32, 534-37.
6, 2017, Anguiano, Baez, and Gavino were indicted for
Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Possession with
Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. Indictment [Docket No.
All three Defendants filed motions ...