462 F.3d 903 (8th Cir. 2006), 05-4275, United States v. Martinez

Docket Nº:05-4275.
Citation:462 F.3d 903
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Edwin MARTINEZ, Jr., also known as Edwin Martinez Franco, Jr., Appellant.
Case Date:September 11, 2006
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

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462 F.3d 903 (8th Cir. 2006)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,


Edwin MARTINEZ, Jr., also known as Edwin Martinez Franco, Jr., Appellant.

No. 05-4275.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

Sept. 11, 2006

Submitted: June 14, 2006.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Katherine Menendez, argued, Minneapolis, MN, for appellant.

Erika Mozangue, AUSA, argued, Minneapolis, MN, for appellee.

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Before LOKEN, Chief Judge, BEAM, and ARNOLD, Circuit Judges.

BEAM, Circuit Judge.

Edwin Martinez, Jr. appeals his conviction, following a jury verdict, and sentence for bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. sections 2113(a) and (d). We affirm.


The Liberty Savings Bank in St. Cloud, Minnesota was robbed on July 23, 2004, at approximately 9:20 a.m. The robber entered the bank, approached a teller, placed a gun on the counter in front of her, and told her this was a robbery. The teller gave the man all the money she had in her drawer. The man pulled his sleeves down over his hands, wiped down the counter with the sleeves, folded the bills in half, and put the wad of bills in one of his pockets. He then slowly backed away, told the teller not to say anything, and left through the front door.

The bank contacted the police, and the teller described the robber to them as a black male in his early to mid-twenties, between 5'7"' and 5'9"' tall, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. St. Cloud police officers Michael Lewandowski, Jeff Atkinson, and David Missell responded. Atkinson was told to check the area surrounding the bank, and so went to a recreational area known as Lake George, about a half-mile from the bank. Once there, he noticed a black male matching the height description, wearing a white tank top and blue pants, walking southbound very fast through the park. Atkinson slowed his car to observe the man, Martinez, talking on his cell phone while walking. Martinez looked up at Atkinson and quickly looked down again. Atkinson noticed that Martinez's face was shiny and assumed he was sweaty.

Atkinson exited his car and told Martinez that he needed to talk with him. Martinez cooperated, putting his hands behind his head. Atkinson walked up to Martinez, took the cell phone from his hand and laid it on the ground, grabbed his hands, and told him that he was being detained because he matched the description of a bank robber. Atkinson then performed a pat-down to check for weapons since the robber had used a gun. At the same time Missell, who had responded to assist Atkinson, asked Martinez if he had any weapons on him. Martinez responded that he possessed only a large sum of money. Atkinson felt what he knew to be a wad of cash in Martinez's pocket. At that point, Atkinson placed handcuffs on Martinez, and told him he would be further detained. Atkinson pulled the wad of cash partly out of the pocket to confirm it was money, and then pushed it back into the pocket. Missell then asked Martinez where he got the cash. Martinez responded that he had just been paid from his place of work. When Missell expressed disbelief, Martinez changed his story to say he saw a man running in the park, and that he found the money. Atkinson then placed Martinez in the back of the police car, read him his Miranda rights, and took him to the bank for a show-up identification.

Once at the bank, Atkinson placed Martinez on the sidewalk in front of the bank toward the windows, hands behind his back and cuffed. The teller was inside the bank. Upon seeing Martinez, she became physically shaken, and identified Martinez as the robber. He was then arrested and taken to jail.

Martinez was indicted on one count of bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. sections 2113(a) and (d). Before trial, Martinez asked the magistrate judge to suppress (1) statements made in response

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to questioning from Missell about the wad of cash in his pocket because he was not given his Miranda warnings at that time, (2) the cash seized from his person after arrest because the officers lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct the Terry stop in the first place, and (3) the teller's identification of him at the bank as impermissibly suggestive. The magistrate judge denied all three requests in the report and recommendation, which was adopted by the district court. 1 Martinez was convicted and sentenced to 150 months imprisonment.


A. Extent of Terry Stop

Martinez first argues that his statements to the officers in the park, the money seized from his person, and his participation in the show-up identification should be suppressed as "fruit of the poisonous tree" because once he was handcuffed and placed in the police car, the Terry stop turned into an arrest, for which officers had no probable cause. The parties both focus on whether the cuffing of Martinez constituted an arrest. We conclude that the cuffing did not convert the Terry stop into an arrest, and even if it did, the officers had probable cause to effectuate the arrest, based on the wad of cash discovered during the Terry frisk.

"An investigative detention may turn into an arrest if it 'lasts for an unreasonably long time or if officers use unreasonable force.' " United States v. Maltais, 403 F.3d 550, 556 (8th Cir.2005) (quoting United States v. Navarrete-Barron, 192 F.3d 786, 790 (8th Cir.1999)). During an investigative stop, officers should use the least intrusive means of detention and investigation reasonably necessary to achieve the purpose of the detention. Id. During a Terry stop, officers are authorized to take such steps as are reasonably necessary to protect their personal safety and to maintain the status quo during the stop. Id. This court has previously held that use of handcuffs can be a reasonable precaution during a Terry stop to protect their safety and maintain the status quo. See. e.g. United States v. Summe, No. 05-4179, 2006 WL 1458293 (8th Cir. May 30, 2006) (unpublished) (holding that use of cuffs to detain suspected accomplice did not constitute arrest); United States v. Saffeels, 982 F.2d 1199, 1206 (8th Cir.1992) (overruled on other grounds) (holding that using cuffs on robbery suspect did not convert Terry stop into arrest); United States v. Miller, 974 F.2d 953, 957 (8th Cir.1992) (concluding that cuffing of suspects during Terry stop where suspects outnumbered officers and where officers were concerned for safety was reasonably necessary to achieve purposes of Terry stop).

Here, the officers knew that the robbery had been accomplished by brandishing a gun. Martinez was a close match to the description of the robber, and Atkinson found him near the scene of the crime, acting suspiciously. The discovery of what Atkinson immediately recognized as a wad of cash on Martinez's person reasonably led Atkinson and Missell to believe that Martinez might be the robber, and that he might still have the gun used to commit the crime. Placing Martinez in handcuffs was a reasonable response to the situation in order to protect the officers' personal safety and to maintain the status quo. As such, the use of handcuffs did not convert this Terry stop into an arrest.

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Martinez also argues that placing him in a patrol car and transporting him back to the bank made the stop an arrest. We do not agree. In United States v. Lego, 855 F.2d 542 (8th Cir.1988), this court held that confining a potentially dangerous suspect to a patrol car while checking his identification was not tantamount to an arrest. There, the "obvious exigencies of the situation" authorized the officer to continue the Terry stop by confining the suspect to the patrol car "until the situation stabilized and she could determine if full custodial arrest and detention were warranted." Id. at 545. Here, the exigencies were such that the officers could not dispel their suspicions that had prompted the Terry stop until they transported Martinez back to the bank for the show-up identification. In United States v. Montano-Gudino, 309 F.3d 501, 504 (8th Cir.2002), this court held that, given the circumstances, moving a suspect from one location to another did not exceed the bounds of Terry because it was reasonable to relocate the suspect for questioning.

In Hayes v. Florida, 470 U.S. 811, 105 S.Ct. 1643, 84 L.Ed.2d 705 (1985), the Supreme Court held that transporting a suspect from his home to a police station for questioning goes beyond the scope of a Terry stop and effects an arrest for which there must be probable cause. Here, the officers did not take Martinez to the police station during the Terry stop, but moved him only to the scene of the crime to help dispel or confirm their suspicions. Similarly, in United States v. Charley, 396 F.3d 1074, 1080 n. 4, 1081 (9th Cir.2005), the court, relying on Montano-Gudino and cases from seven other circuits, held that moving a suspect from the place officers found her to her own home in order to check on her children whom she may have harmed there did not effect an arrest. Thus, neither placing Martinez in the police car nor transporting him to the bank converted this Terry stop into an arrest for which probable cause was required.

Even if the stop could be considered an "arrest" following the cuffing of Martinez, the discovery of the wad of cash on his person provided probable cause to arrest him. See, e.g., United States v. Martin, 706 F.2d 263, 265 (8th Cir.1983) (finding that information officers obtained during investigatory stop "escalated the factual basis from one permitting an investigatory stop to one warranting an arrest"). Probable cause exists when, at the time of the arrest, "the available facts and circumstances are sufficient to warrant a person of reasonable caution to believe that an offense was being or had been committed by the person to be arrested." United States v. Kelly, 329 F.3d 624, 628 (8th Cir.2003). Given the facts and...

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