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UNITED STATES v. VALENCIA
March 11, 1983
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
JOSE VALENCIA and LUCERO VALENCIA, Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: PLATT
Defendants have moved to suppress, as involuntary, statements made by them to United States Government agents and State and City police officers on September 22, 1982, and, as unlawfully seized, cocaine and other physical evidence taken from the apartment of the defendant Jose Valencia on the same date. We held a hearing on December 28 and 29, 1982, at which testimony was taken from New York City Detective Jose Guzman, Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") Special Agent Joseph C. Sullivan, New York State Police Investigator Jerome F. McArdle, and Official Court Interpreter Mirta Vidal. Neither defendant took the stand to attempt to contradict any of the statements made by the Federal, State and City officers.
At approximately 7:00 PM on September 22, 1982, Messrs. Guzman and Sullivan and New York State Police Investigator Paul Krajewski were in the vicinity of 32-31 68th Street, Queens, New York (Tr. 9) at which time they observed the defendant, Lucero Valencia, leave a taxicab, walk to said premises and knock on the outer door thereof which "was opened by a young kid approximately about 9 or 10 years old" (Tr. 9). Mr. Guzman testified specifically that:
"I walked into the foyer with Lucero Valencia. At that time I explained to her that I was a police officer, that I was looking for Jose Valencia.
"At the time Lucero Valencia stated she was the wife of Jose Valencia and she had just come from Miami on a flight from Cali, Colombia.
"She stated that she was there to meet her ex-husband, Jose Valencia and to pick up her children.
"She stated that Jose Valencia should be there shortly.
"After that she just kind of sat down on the steps, took a book and was reading the book."
This conversation took place "inside of the building. It is kind of a foyer." (Tr. 11), but outside of Mr. Valencia's apartment.
Mr. Guzman testified further that:
"I then asked her if it would be a long time by the time the husband would get there.
"She stated he should be there tonight because he has to bring the children and she was supposed to take the children to her other apartment."
For the next hour or so, Detective Guzman and Investigator Jerome McArdle (who had subsequently arrived at the scene) remained with Mrs. Valencia in the foyer, while the other officers (including three additional officers who had also subsequently arrived at the scene) waited outside the building. (Tr. 57-58, 99). All ...
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