939 F.2d 688 (9th Cir. 1991), 90-50345, United States v. Lares-Valdez

Docket Nº:90-50345.
Citation:939 F.2d 688
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Jaime LARES-VALDEZ, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:January 25, 1991
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 688

939 F.2d 688 (9th Cir. 1991)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Jaime LARES-VALDEZ, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 90-50345.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

January 25, 1991

Submitted Nov. 16, 1990.[*]

Page 689

Shawn M. Hays, Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., San Diego, Cal., for defendant-appellant.

Melanie K. Pierson, Asst. U.S. Atty., San Diego, Cal., for plaintiff-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

Before BROWNING, BEEZER and RYMER, Circuit Judges.


After a trial before the Honorable J. Lawrence Irving, District Judge, a jury convicted Jaime Lares-Valdez of possessing with intent to distribute and importing approximately 218 grams of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. Secs. 841(a)(1), 952 & 960. Lares-Valdez challenges a pretrial ruling by the Honorable Judith N. Keep denying a motion to suppress his statements. He claims drug enforcement agents failed to apprise him adequately of his constitutional rights in violation of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966). We affirm.


On October 18, 1989, Lares-Valdez requested admission to the United States at the Calexico port of entry. A customs inspector noticed that Lares-Valdez's hands were shaking and that he wore thick-soled shoes resembling types used for drug smuggling. The inspector referred Lares-Valdez to a secondary inspection area, where his search found heroin in the soles of Lares-Valdez's shoes. A DEA agent arrived, placed Lares-Valdez under arrest and advised him of his rights in Spanish, reading from a DEA Form. Lares-Valdez indicated that he understood his rights and then admitted that he knew he was in possession of heroin and was intending to distribute it.


"The adequacy of a Miranda warning is a legal question reviewable de novo, although ' "the factual findings underlying the adequacy challenge, such as what a defendant was told, are subject to clearly erroneous review." ' " United States v. Bland, 908 F.2d 471, 472 (9th Cir.1990) (quoting United States v. Connell, 869 F.2d 1349, 1351 (9th Cir.1989)). The factual basis of this challenge is undisputed, leaving us to consider the purely legal question of the adequacy of the warnings.


Lares-Valdez claims the warnings given to him were inadequate...

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