569 F.3d 882 (8th Cir. 2009), 08-2377, United States v. Morse

Docket Nº:08-2377.
Citation:569 F.3d 882
Opinion Judge:COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellant, v. Romando MORSE, Appellee.
Attorney:Robert C. Sigler, argued, AUSA, Omaha, NE, for Appellant. Michael F. Maloney, argued, AFPD, Jennifer L. Gilg, on the brief, Omaha, NE, for Appellee.
Judge Panel:Before COLLOTON and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges, and GOLDBERG, Judge. [1]
Case Date:June 26, 2009
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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569 F.3d 882 (8th Cir. 2009)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellant,

v.

Romando MORSE, Appellee.

No. 08-2377.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

June 26, 2009

Submitted: Dec. 11, 2008.

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Robert C. Sigler, argued, AUSA, Omaha, NE, for Appellant.

Michael F. Maloney, argued, AFPD, Jennifer L. Gilg, on the brief, Omaha, NE, for Appellee.

Before COLLOTON and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges, and GOLDBERG, Judge. 1

COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

The government appeals an order of the district court granting Romando Morse's motion to suppress evidence seized from his person and statements made to police during a traffic stop in Omaha. We reverse the district court's order, and remand for further proceedings.

According to the district court's findings of fact, during daylight hours on August 31, 2007, Sergeant Gerald Baggett and Officer Frank Platt of the Omaha Police Department stopped a vehicle in which Morse was a passenger. The driver was arrested for driving with a suspended license, and Baggett asked Morse to leave the vehicle so the officers could conduct a search incident to the arrest. According to Baggett's testimony, when Morse exited the vehicle, Baggett said that he was going to conduct a pat-down search, and asked Morse if he had anything on his person that Baggett should know about. Morse said that he had crack cocaine in his pocket. Baggett then placed Morse under arrest and eventually recovered drugs from Morse's pocket.

Morse testified to a different sequence of events. Morse said that when he exited the vehicle, Baggett told him to put his hands on the car, and Baggett then began a pat-down search before Morse said anything about drugs. According to Morse, Baggett put his hand on one of Morse's pockets and asked whether Morse had " a little weed" in his pocket. Morse replied, " no, sir, crack cocaine." Baggett then arrested Morse and recovered the drugs.

The district court analyzed the motion to suppress based on Baggett's version of the facts, and granted the motion. The court reasoned that Morse's statement about the

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crack cocaine must be suppressed, because it was the product of unwarned custodial interrogation that violated the rule of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966). The court also excluded the crack cocaine seized from Morse's pocket, on the ground that the only basis for the arrest and subsequent search of Morse was the unwarned statement taken in violation of Miranda. In...

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