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United States v. Carmenatty

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

January 28, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ROBERTO CARMENATTY, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

NATHANIEL M. GORTON, District Judge.

Defendant Roberto Carmenatty ("Carmenatty" or "defendant") has been indicted on a single count for being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ยง 922(g)(1). In October, 2010, Carmenatty, a convicted felon, allegedly knowingly possessed a Kel-Tec.32 caliber pistol within the District of Massachusetts. Pending before the Court is defendant's motion to suppress certain post-arrest statements that he made to authorities. For the following reasons, the motion will be denied.

I. Motion to Suppress

In December, 2014, Carmenatty filed the instant motion requesting that the Court suppress certain post-arrest statements. Defendant moves to suppress his statements on two independent grounds. First, he contends that those statements resulted from an unlawful search and arrest and thus should be suppressed under the Fourth Amendment. Second, he argues that the statements were made in response to custodial interrogation without Carmenatty having waived his Miranda rights and were therefore in contravention of the Fifth Amendment. Defendant also requests an evidentiary hearing on the matter.

A. Background

The statements which Carmenatty now seeks to suppress were the result of his arrest on December 7, 2011. Carmenatty was arrested by Massachusetts State Police and Chelsea Police Officers on an outstanding state warrant from the Chelsea District Court for 2008 drug charges, although at the time of his arrest he was being investigated by federal authorities for illegal gun trafficking and possession.

Federal authorities sought to bring defendant in for questioning with respect to their gun investigation but could not locate him. As a result, on December 6, 2011, an Assistant United States Attorney sought an order from this Court to authorize a pen register and tracing device on a cellular phone believed to be used by Carmenatty. The application to the Court also sought, inter alia, the real-time GPS coordinates of the cellular phone. The application stated that agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF") were seeking to locate Carmenatty in connection with their gun trafficking investigation in which they had unsuccessfully attempted to apprehend Carmenatty on the outstanding state arrest warrant.

United States Magistrate Judge Dein approved the request and the defendant was promptly located with the aid of the cellular phone GPS data. The following day, Carmenatty was arrested at the home of a friend in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Carmenatty contends that he had been temporarily staying at the location at the time of his arrest.

Carmenatty was then taken to the Chelsea Police station. At the time of his booking, he was orally advised of his Miranda rights by the booking officer and was later provided with a standardized Miranda form by the officer. Defendant signed the form but left it blank where it asked (1) "[d]o you understand these rights explained to you?" and (2) "[h]aving these rights in mind, do you wish to talk now?".

Carmenatty was subsequently taken to an interview room at the police station where he was met by two ATF special agents and a Chelsea Police detective. The two ATF agents explained that they were interested in speaking with Carmenatty about their firearms investigation. One of the agents clarified that, although defendant was under arrest pursuant to the outstanding state warrant related to the drug charges, they were interested only in his possible involvement with firearms.

The ATF agents were aware that Carmenatty had already been advised of his Miranda rights and had signed the Miranda warnings form. Nevertheless, one of the agents gave Carmenatty another set of oral Miranda warnings. Carmenatty then acknowledged that he understood his rights and began to speak with the agents. It was during that interview, which was not recorded, that Carmenatty made the incriminating statements he now seeks to suppress.

B. Fourth Amendment Challenge

First, Carmenatty moves to suppress the statements as the fruits of an allegedly ...


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