Concern about noncitizens (illegal aliens), who need aid, did NOT justify search of defendant’s home

Background: Defendan was convicted on guilty plea in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, Martha Vázquez, J., of “alien” smuggling and possession of a firearm by a felon, following denial of motion to suppress by Michael L. Reagan, Chief Judge, sitting by designation, 2017 WL 4676266, and denial of motion for reconsideration by Vázquez, J., 2018 WL 947657. Defendant appealed.

Holdings: The Court of Appeals, Carson, Circuit Judge, held that:
1 exigent circumstances based on concern that there were noncitizens who needed aid did not justify search of defendant’s home;

2 search warrant affidavit failed to establish nexus between “alien” smuggling and defendant’s home, and thus did not establish probable cause justifying warrant; and

3 exclusionary rule applied to firearms evidence discovered during execution of search warrant.

Reversed and remanded.

United States v. Mora, 989 F.3d 794 (10th Cir. 2021)

Full text here: United States v. Mora, 989 F.3d 794 (10th Cir. 2021),

Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
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