327 F.3d 582 (7th Cir. 2003), 02-2999, U.S. v. Funches

Docket Nº:02-2999
Citation:327 F.3d 582
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. LORENZO FUNCHES, JUAN CARLOS TORO, and CARLOS DeJESUS MUNOZ, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:April 29, 2003
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 582

327 F.3d 582 (7th Cir. 2003)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

LORENZO FUNCHES, JUAN CARLOS TORO, and CARLOS DeJESUS MUNOZ, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 02-2999

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

April 29, 2003

ARGUED JANUARY 21, 2003.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 02 CR 8 Milton I. Shadur, Judge.

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COUNSEL

David E. Bindi (argued), Office of the U.S. Atty., Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Irving B. Miller (argued), Ryan Miller & Trafelet, Chicago, IL, for Defendant-Apellee Lorenzo Funches.

Terence P. Gillespie, Chicago, IL, Saang Shim (argued), Skokie, IL for Defendant-Appellee Carlos D. Monoz.

Richard M. Beuke, Chicago, IL, Sang Shim (argued), Skokie, IL, for Defendant-Appellee Juan C. Toro.

Before POSNER, KANNE, and DIANE P. WOOD, Circuit Judges.

KANNE, Circuit Judge.

The three defendants, Lorenzo Funches, Juan Carlos Toro, and Carlos DeJesus Munoz, were indicted on various narcotics and firearms charges. The indictments arose from a warrantless arrest that followed a surveillance in which Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") agents observed an exchange of plastic bags in an alley. A search incident to the arrest uncovered substantial amounts of drugs and cash. Defendants moved to suppress the evidence, claiming that the DEA agents lacked probable cause to arrest them and that all evidence recovered was therefore fruit of the unlawful arrest. The district court granted the motions and suppressed the evidence. The government appeals, and we reverse.

I. History

A. The Arrest

In August 2001, the DEA received information that a Columbian drug dealer recently moved into an apartment in a large three-story, multi-unit apartment building at 7412 North Western Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Agents had conducted periodic surveillance of the area for several months pursuant to the tip but had not located the suspect.

On January 2, 2002, five agents each in separate cars set up surveillance of the apartment building. At 12:30 p.m., Juan Toro, driving an Infiniti automobile, parked in the back of the building, got out of the car, and went in. Around 1:00 p.m., Toro and Carlos Munoz left the building together and got into the Infiniti. The Page 584

agents knew that neither Toro nor Munoz was the man for whom they were looking and had no information that Toro or Munoz were involved in drug trafficking, but they decided to follow the car. Over the next hour and a half, Toro and Munoz made stops at locations in Evanston and Lincolnwood, which appeared legitimate. Then, at approximately 2:30 p.m., back in Chicago, Toro and Munoz pulled into a Dominick's grocery store parking lot on Sheridan Road. The agents looked on as Toro got out of the Infiniti, walked to a Nissan Altima parked nearby, and entered the Altima on the passenger side. Lorenzo Funches was sitting in the driver's seat of the Altima. Funches and Toro talked in the Altima for roughly one-half hour. At around 3:00 p.m., Munoz, who had moved from the passenger side to the driver side, pulled the Infiniti out of the parking lot, and Funches and Toro followed in the Altima. The agents followed the two cars, which were driven to an alley about ten minutes from the Dominick's grocery store. Munoz entered the alley first in the Infiniti. Funches followed and parked the Altima about halfway through the alley. Munoz continued through the alley and drove off, leaving Funches and Toro behind in the Altima. Agent McCoy, the DEA team leader, parked in the alley a few car lengths behind the Altima. Other agents parked nearby, and one agent followed Munoz.

Munoz drove to an apartment building at 5730 North Sheridan, less than a minute from the alley he just left. He parked in front of the building and made a call from his cell phone. A few minutes later, a woman came out of the apartment building carrying a...

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