Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Judge Wilson finds consent to search vehicle of foreign national with methamphetamine

In U.S. v. Barrera, Chief Judge Wilson of the W.D. Va. denied the defendant's motion to suppress, concluding that the law enforcement officers did not unlawfully detain the defendant and had consent to search the defendant's vehicle, in which they found methamphetamine. In part, the Court rejected the defendant's claims that he did not understand English very well. Also, the Court concluded, "the simple fact that Barrera was Mexican lends no support to the allegation that Meredith knew Barrera felt compelled to remain and answer his questions."

In a footnote, the Court noted the following: "Barrera also claims that the evidence obtained should be suppressed because officers did not notify him of his rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Although the Vienna Convention requires officers arresting a foreign national to inform him of his right to contact his consular, suppression of evidence is not a proper remedy for violations of the treaty. United States v. Lawal, 231 F.3d 1045, 1048 (7th Cir. 2000); United States v. Lombera-Camorlinga, 206 F.3d 882, 883-84 (9th Cir. 2000). Therefore, the court rejects Barrera’s claim."

No comments: