U.S. v. Morales-Zamora, MORALES-ZAMOR

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore McKAY, Chief Judge, McWILLIAMS, Senior Circuit Judge, and EISELE; McWILLIAMS
Citation974 F.2d 149
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Adelaefendant-Appellant.
Decision Date03 September 1992
Docket NumberNo. 91-2244,MORALES-ZAMOR,D

Page 149

974 F.2d 149
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Adela MORALES-ZAMORA, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 91-2244.
United States Court of Appeals,
Tenth Circuit.
Sept. 3, 1992.

Nancy Hollander, Freedman, Boyd, Daniels, Peifer, Hollander, Guttmann & Goldberg, P.A., Albuquerque, N.M., for defendant-appellant.

Robert J. Gorence, Asst. U.S. Atty. (Don J. Svet, U.S. Atty., with him on the brief), Albuquerque, N.M., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before McKAY, Chief Judge, McWILLIAMS, Senior Circuit Judge, and EISELE, Senior District Judge. *

McWILLIAMS, Senior Circuit Judge.

On February 10, 1989, Adela Morales-Zamora (Zamora) and her seven-year old son were traveling north on Interstate 25 when she was stopped at a roadblock in Socorro, New Mexico, by officers of the Socorro Police Department. She was told that the purpose of the roadblock was to check her driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. As one officer checked these documents, another officer walked a trained narcotics-detection dog around the exterior of Zamora's vehicle.

Before the document check was completed, the dog "alerted" to the car. Zamora was advised that the dog had alerted to her car and the officer asked Zamora if she would consent to a search of her vehicle. Zamora then asked what would happen if she refused to sign the consent to search

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form which had been given her. The officer advised Zamora that their policy was to detain the vehicle and obtain a search warrant. Zamora then signed the consent to search form. The ensuing search disclosed 126 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of her car.

Thereafter, Zamora was charged in a one-count indictment with the unlawful possession of more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, a Schedule I Controlled Substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C). Zamora filed a motion to suppress the use at trial of the marijuana taken from the trunk of her car. After hearing, the district court granted the motion to suppress, holding that when an officer has no reasonable and articulable suspicion of drug-related criminal activity, a canine sniff that occurs while the driver's documents are being checked, violates the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Morales, 714 F.Supp. 1146 (D.N.M.1989), rev'd, 914 F.2d 200 (10th Cir.1990).

From the order granting Zamora's motion to suppress, the government took an interlocutory appeal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3731. On appeal, we reversed, holding that the police did not need individualized reasonable suspicion of drug-related activity before subjecting a lawfully detained vehicle to a canine sniff, since, in such circumstance, the sniff was not a search under the Fourth Amendment. In thus holding, we assumed, as did the district court, that the reason for the roadblock was not pretextual, and in connection therewith we expressly stated that our holding did not preclude Zamora from renewing on remand her argument of pretext. United States v. Morales-Zamora, 914 F.2d 200 (10th Cir.1990).

On remand, the district court held a hearing on Zamora's motion to suppress based on pretext. The chief of police for Socorro, John Trujillo, testified about their use of roadblocks in general, as well as the particular roadblock in effect on February 10, 1989, the date Zamora was arrested. At the conclusion of this hearing, the district court denied the motion to suppress, indicating, however, that it was a close call. Zamora thereafter pleaded guilty to the charge, reserving her right to obtain appellate review of the district court's order denying her motion to suppress. She was then sentenced to 27 months imprisonment and this appeal follows.

At the hearing on Zamora's motion to suppress, Chief Trujillo testified that the police first set up a roadblock in Socorro in June, 1987, and that the operation was funded by the city itself. He stated that in about October, 1988, the city received a federal narcotics grant which funded 75% of the expense attendant to the roadblocks, including such items as overtime pay, canine expense, and capital outlay and equipment. Chief Trujillo said this federal funding continued until about July, 1990. When the federal funding was discontinued, the roadblocks were again funded by the city. There was some testimony that Chief Trujillo had made application for a grant from the state, although it is unclear whether the application was granted, or denied.

On cross-examination Chief Trujillo stated that he knew the city could not lawfully establish a roadblock which was only "looking for drugs," but believed that they could lawfully establish a roadblock for the purpose of checking drivers' licenses, vehicle registrations, and proofs of insurance. He admitted that in certain applications for grants he had stated that the "primary goal," or the "underlying purpose," of the roadblocks was to "look for drugs." At another point in his testimony, Chief Trujillo said he had dual reasons for the roadblocks: (1) to check drivers' licenses, vehicle registrations, and proofs of insurance; and (2) to check for the presence of contraband in vehicles through the use of sniffing canines.

Chief Trujillo also testified that initially a sniffing canine was present at every roadblock. He went on to testify that when the United States District Court granted Zamora's original motion to suppress, the city changed its roadblock procedure by continuing to stop vehicles to check for drivers' license violations, and the like, but that they would not have any canine at the

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scene unless and until the officer had some cause to believe that the vehicle contained drugs. He added that after this court reversed the district court in United States v. Morales-Zamora, 914 F.2d 200...

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21 practice notes
  • United States v. Johnson, No. 1:12cv1349.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
    • 7 Agosto 2015
    ...but with actual unlawful purposes. See United States v. Huguenin, 154 F.3d 547, 558–59 (6th Cir.1998) ; United States v. Morales–Zamora, 974 F.2d 149, 152–53 (10th Cir.1992) ; State v. DeBooy, 996 P.2d 546, 551 (Utah 2000). Since Edmond, lower federal courts have continued to intimate that ......
  • State v Hicks, 99-00957
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • 11 Septiembre 2001
    ...related to any interest served by a checkpoint established to detect and deter unlicensed drivers, see United States v. Morales-Zamora, 974 F.2d 149, 153 (10th Cir. 1992) (finding pretextual drivers' license checkpoint, in part, when officers brought drug dog to scene before cars were stopp......
  • Edmond & Palmer v. Goldsmith, No. 98-4124
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 7 Julio 1999
    ...been asked to decide the issue. Compare United States v. Huguenin, 154 F.3d 547, 554-55 (6th Cir. 1998); United States v. Morales-Zamora, 974 F.2d 149 (10th Cir. 1992); Galberth v. United States, 590 A.2d 990 (D.C. 1991), and Wilson v. Commonwealth, 509 S.E.2d 540 (Va. App. 1999), which hel......
  • Edmond v. Goldsmith, No. IP 98-1400-C-B/S.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • 18 Noviembre 1998
    ...Page 1027 around that purpose. Thus, Huguenin is inapplicable to the instant case. Plaintiffs also cite United States v. Morales-Zamora, 974 F.2d 149 (10th Cir.1992), in support of their position. Like Huguenin, the checkpoint in Morales-Zamora was ostensibly set up to check licenses and re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
21 cases
  • United States v. Johnson, No. 1:12cv1349.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
    • 7 Agosto 2015
    ...but with actual unlawful purposes. See United States v. Huguenin, 154 F.3d 547, 558–59 (6th Cir.1998) ; United States v. Morales–Zamora, 974 F.2d 149, 152–53 (10th Cir.1992) ; State v. DeBooy, 996 P.2d 546, 551 (Utah 2000). Since Edmond, lower federal courts have continued to intimate that ......
  • State v Hicks, 99-00957
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • 11 Septiembre 2001
    ...related to any interest served by a checkpoint established to detect and deter unlicensed drivers, see United States v. Morales-Zamora, 974 F.2d 149, 153 (10th Cir. 1992) (finding pretextual drivers' license checkpoint, in part, when officers brought drug dog to scene before cars were stopp......
  • Edmond & Palmer v. Goldsmith, No. 98-4124
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 7 Julio 1999
    ...been asked to decide the issue. Compare United States v. Huguenin, 154 F.3d 547, 554-55 (6th Cir. 1998); United States v. Morales-Zamora, 974 F.2d 149 (10th Cir. 1992); Galberth v. United States, 590 A.2d 990 (D.C. 1991), and Wilson v. Commonwealth, 509 S.E.2d 540 (Va. App. 1999), which hel......
  • Edmond v. Goldsmith, No. IP 98-1400-C-B/S.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • 18 Noviembre 1998
    ...Page 1027 around that purpose. Thus, Huguenin is inapplicable to the instant case. Plaintiffs also cite United States v. Morales-Zamora, 974 F.2d 149 (10th Cir.1992), in support of their position. Like Huguenin, the checkpoint in Morales-Zamora was ostensibly set up to check licenses and re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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