48 F.3d 1147 (10th Cir. 1995), 94-6195, United States v. Griffin

Docket Nº:94-6195.
Citation:48 F.3d 1147
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Teresa Mechell GRIFFIN, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:February 23, 1995
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 1147

48 F.3d 1147 (10th Cir. 1995)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Teresa Mechell GRIFFIN, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 94-6195.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

February 23, 1995

Submitted on the briefs: [*]

Vicki Miles-LaGrange, U.S. Atty., Leslie M. Maye, Asst. U.S. Atty., Oklahoma City, OK, for plaintiff-appellee.

David P. Henry, Oklahoma City, OK, for defendant-appellant.

Before ANDERSON, BALDOCK, and BRORBY, Circuit Judges.

BALDOCK, Circuit Judge.

Defendant Teresa Mechell Griffin appeals asserting the district court failed to suppress evidence pursuant to our remand instruction in United States v. Griffin, 7 F.3d 1512 (10th

Page 1148

Cir.1993). Additionally, Defendant contends the district court committed sentencing errors. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1291 and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3742(a). We affirm.

The facts underlying Defendant's conviction are set forth in Griffin, 7 F.3d at 1514-15; however, we restate the facts relevant to the instant appeal. Defendant managed a cocaine distribution ring with her common law husband Juan Carlos Angulo-Lopez. 1 Specifically, Defendant and her husband obtained cocaine powder in Houston and transported it to Oklahoma City where they converted it to crack cocaine or instructed other members of the conspiracy to convert it to crack cocaine. They then acted as wholesalers and distributed the crack to retail sellers. The operation involved fourteen participants charged as conspirators who distributed as much as 47.82 kilograms of cocaine powder or cocaine base. All charges against Defendant arose from her involvement in this cocaine distribution activity.

Defendant's role in the cocaine distribution ring ended on October 21, 1991 when a police officer apprehended her and a companion, Bedina Coleman, 2 at the Oklahoma City airport terminal with approximately $38,500 in cash from cocaine sales. The police officer questioned Defendant regarding the cash. Later, a second police officer arrived and questioned Defendant in a private room. During the second encounter, Defendant confessed that the cash was derived from drug sales, gave a lengthy description of her drug related activities, and led the agents to her car where approximately one-half pound of cocaine was found. Additionally, the police obtained a telephone pager and documents from Defendant. The police used the numbers stored within the pager and additional information obtained from Defendant in part to obtain search warrants for Alfred Barber's residence and Defendant's Houston, Texas residence, and to identify individuals involved in the conspiracy who later testified against Defendant.

Defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence which the district court denied following an evidentiary hearing. Defendant appealed the district court's denial of her motion to suppress, arguing principally that her confession was invalid because she was in custody during the interrogation and the police failed to advise her as required by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966). On appeal, we concluded that the second encounter between Defendant and the police constituted custodial interrogation which should have been preceded by a Miranda warning. See Griffin, 7 F.3d at 1519. Thus, we reversed and remanded to the district court "with instructions to grant [Defendant's] motion to suppress evidence adduced by Officer Hughes during the second police encounter." Id.

On remand, the district court requested briefs and held an evidentiary hearing to determine what evidence had to be suppressed under our remand instruction. Defendant argued that the police infringed her Fifth Amendment rights during the second encounter, and as a result, under the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine, all evidence, including testimonial evidence, which flowed from the constitutional violation must be suppressed. Specifically, Defendant argued that the police used the telephone numbers from her pager, and information gleaned from her statements to identify and investigate individuals who ultimately testified against her at trial. Their testimonial evidence, argued Defendant, fell within our remand instruction "to suppress evidence adduced by Officer Hughes during the second police encounter." Id.

The government disagreed, and argued that despite the Fifth Amendment violation the bulk of the evidence it sought to introduce against Defendant fell within the independent source and inevitable discovery exceptions to the exclusionary rule. The government offered uncontroverted testimony of Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") Special Agent Jon Hersley in support of its contention that the exceptions to the exclusionary rule applied. Specifically, Special

Page 1149

Agent Hersley testified that by mid-1989 the Oklahoma City Police Department...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP