United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Andrew Raphael
Reese's Motion to Suppress Evidence. (Doc. # 30.) The
Motion has been fully briefed (Doc. ## 42-44), and the Court
held an evidentiary hearing on the Motion on September 13,
2019. Based on the following reasons, the Motion is denied.
was arrested on March 19, 2019, while the Denver Police
Department was conducting a narcotics operation in Denver,
Colorado. During the operation, the police utilized the
assistance of a confidential informant (“CI”) as
well as surveillance technology. While the police were
conducting the operation, Defendant arrived with several
police recognized Defendant, and they were aware that
Defendant had previously been involved in drug-related
activity. The police observed as Defendant and his associates
walked down the sidewalk where the CI was located. After
Defendant and one of the females engaged in a covert exchange
of an object, the CI made contact with that female. The two
of them communicated while Defendant continued to walk down
the sidewalk. Subsequently, the CI and female caught up with
Defendant, and the CI and female engaged in what was later
confirmed to be a drug transaction while Defendant stood
nearby. The female then stood in close proximity to
receiving confirmation from the CI that he had engaged in a
drug transaction with Defendant's female associate, the
police decided to detain Defendant as well as his female
associate. The police placed Defendant in handcuffs and
searched him. During the course of the search, the police
discovered a handgun in Defendant's possession.
was subsequently charged by indictment with a single count of
possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (Doc. # 1.)
Motion challenges both his initial detention by the police
and the subsequent search of his clothing. The Court will
analyze each event in turn.
DEFENDANT'S INITIAL DETENTION BY POLICE
arguendo, that Defendant's initial detention
constitutes an arrest as opposed to an investigatory stop,
Court finds that there was probable cause to support the
Fourth Amendment protects the right of individuals to be free
from improper arrest and detention. U.S. Const. amend. IV.
“[A] warrantless arrest by a law officer is reasonable
under the Fourth Amendment where there is probable cause to
believe that a criminal offense has been or is being
committed, ” Devenpeck v. Alford, 543 U.S.
146, 152 (2004), and the “validity of the arrest does
not depend on whether the suspect actually committed a
crime.” Michigan v. DeFillippo, 443 U.S. 31,
36 (1979). “[W]hen an officer has probable cause to
believe a person committed even a minor crime in his
presence, the balancing of private and public interests is
not in doubt. The arrest is constitutionally
reasonable.” Virginia v. Moore, 553 U.S. 164,
cause to arrest exists where, “under the totality of
the circumstances, ” a “reasonable person”
would believe “that an offense has been . . .
committed” by “the person arrested.”
United States v. Munoz-Nava, 524 F.3d 1137, 1144
(10th Cir. 2008) (quotation marks omitted). As the standard
itself indicates, probable cause does not require
metaphysical certitude or proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Rather, “probable cause is a matter of probabilities
and common sense conclusions, not
certainties.” United States v.
Biglow, 562 F.3d 1272, 1280 (10th Cir. 2009) (internal
quotation marks omitted). Thus, “[p]robable cause only
requires a probability of criminal activity, not a prima
facie showing of such activity.” Wilder v.