979 F.2d 856 (9th Cir. 1992), 92-50111, U.S. v. Figueroa-Acosta

Docket Nº:92-50111.
Citation:979 F.2d 856
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Fernando FIGUEROA-ACOSTA, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:November 03, 1992
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 856

979 F.2d 856 (9th Cir. 1992)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Fernando FIGUEROA-ACOSTA, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 92-50111.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

November 3, 1992

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA9 Rule 36-3 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Decided Nov. 12, 1992.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, No. CR-91-214-01-JSR; John S. Rhoades, District Judge, Presiding.



Before WALLACE, Chief Judge, and TROTT and T.G. NELSON, Circuit Judges.


Appellant Fernando Figueroa-Acosta was indicted on two counts of transporting illegal aliens in violation of Title 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(B) (1988). He pled guilty to Count I of the Indictment pursuant to Rule 11(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure which allows preservation of pretrial rulings for appeal. He now challenges the district court's adverse ruling on his pre-trial motion to suppress evidence.



Appellant was driving a van containing eighteen illegal aliens when a United States Border Patrol Agent turned on his flashing lights in an attempt to pull appellant over to the side of the road. After the lights were activated, appellant accelerated and proceeded to travel along Highway 79 before reaching Interstate 15 and continuing northbound. Appellant crossed the median and continued to drive north in the southbound lanes towards the oncoming traffic. Other patrol cars joined the pursuit. Appellant then exited the freeway and jumped out of the van while it was still moving. The van dropped down an embankment where it came to a stop. After a brief foot chase, appellant was apprehended and arrested.

A. Standard of Review

The trial court's factual determinations are reviewed for clear error. United States v. Hernandez-Alvarado, 891 F.2d 1414, 1416 (9th Cir.1989). Whether founded suspicion existed to justify an investigatory stop is reviewed de novo. Id.

B. Analysis

Officers may make an investigatory stop if they are aware of specific, articulable facts which, together with objective and reasonable inferences, lead to a founded suspicion of criminal activity. United States v. Cortez,...

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