426 F.2d 1283 (5th Cir. 1970), 28320, United States v. Gonzalez-Perez

Docket Nº:28320.
Citation:426 F.2d 1283
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Ricardo Antonio GONZALEZ-PEREZ, Ana Soria Prieto, Antonio Prieto-Morejon, Defendants-Appellants.
Case Date:June 02, 1970
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 1283

426 F.2d 1283 (5th Cir. 1970)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Ricardo Antonio GONZALEZ-PEREZ, Ana Soria Prieto, Antonio Prieto-Morejon, Defendants-Appellants.

No. 28320.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

June 2, 1970

Page 1284

Max Kogen, Miami, Fla., for defendants-appellants.

Robert W. Rust, U.S. Atty., J. V. Eskenazi, Asst. U.S. Atty., Miami, Fla., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before GODBOLD, DYER and MORGAN, Circuit Judges.

DYER, Circuit Judge.

A jury convicted the three appellants of conspiracy to import narcotic drugs into the United States and of actually importing narcotic drugs. 21 U.S.C.A. §§ 173, 174. Appellants assert that evidence was obtained during illegal searches and was erroneously admitted against them and that, in any event, the evidence is insufficient to sustain their convictions. Finding the searches legal and the evidence sufficient we affirm.

On the evening of May 6, 1969, Guillermo Augusto Davalos, a naval commander of the Republic of Ecuador, arrived at the Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, aboard a flight which had originated in Ecuador. A check of his baggage by customs officials disclosed very large quantities of cocaine and heroin concealed in false bottoms of the two suitcases he was carrying. Davalos was arrested and it was ascertained that he intended to stay at the Carillon Hotel on Miami Beach. On being questioned Davalos stated that no one knew he was going to stay at the Carillon

Page 1285

and that he knew no one in the United States. However, he begged the officers to allow him to go to the Carillon because he was sure someone would show up there to pick up the 'cargo.'

The officers contacted the Carillon Hotel and ascertained that because of an overflow there all guests were being referred to the Golden Sands Hotel next door. The officers arranged with the manager and employees at the Carillon that anyone inquiring for Davalos would be referred to the Golden Sands and that they would notify the officers of the inquiry. The Golden Sands employees were also instructed to notify the officers if an inquiry was made for Davalos.

At about 7 a.m. the following morning, May 7, three men, Ricardo Antonio Gonzalez-Perez, Antonio Prieto-Morejon (both of whom are appellants), and Roland Calderon-Diaz, appeared together at the front desk of the Carillon Hotel and inquired for Davalos. They were referred to a Spanish speaking desk clerk who advised them that Davalos could be found at the Golden Sands. When the three-some left the Carillon the desk clerk notified the customs agents by telephone of the inquiry. When the three men went to the Golden Sands to inquire after Davalos, the desk clerk there, pursuant to instructions relayed to him by the desk clerk at the Carillon at the request of the customs agents, informed them that Davalos would arrive at 9:00 a.m. Customs agents arrived at the Carillon at about 8 o'clock and, after obtaining identification of the three men from the desk clerk, maintained a surveillance of Gonzalez-Perez and Calderon-Diaz who were walking around outside in the vicinity of the Golden Sands and of Antonio Prieto-Morejon who was seated in the lobby of the Golden Sands. After watching the men pace about nervously looking at their watches until about 9...

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