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U.S. v. RIVERA

October 23, 1990

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
RONALD RIVERA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Haight, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On April 26, 1990 defendant Ronald Rivera was arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on April 4, 1990 and charged with one count of violating 18 U.S.C. § 2113(d) and 2 in connection with the armed robbery of the Manufacturer's Hanover Trust Company, 230 Second Avenue, New York, New York on October 18, 1989.

Defendant moves to suppress an inculpatory written statement he signed on the day after his arrest. Rivera contends that the affidavit in support of the arrest warrant was flawed; that the arrest violated his Sixth Amendment right to counsel; and that the statement was obtained during an impermissible delay before presentment to the magistrate.

Because the defendant's presentment before the magistrate was unreasonably delayed, the defendant's motion to suppress is granted.

I.

BACKGROUND

On April 4, 1990 Special Agent Henry Congregane of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) swore to a Complaint before Magistrate Naomi Reice Buchwald asking for an arrest warrant and alleging that defendant Ronald Rivera had violated 18 U.S.C. § 2113(d) by the armed robbery of the Manufacturer's Hanover Trust Company located at 230 Second Avenue, New York, New York ("Manufacturer's Hanover"). Agent Congregane is a member of the Joint Bank Robbery Task Force ("J.B. R.T.F.") which is a combined F.B.I. and New York City Police Department task force which investigates armed bank robberies in New York City. Agent Congregane recounted that on or about October 18, 1989 two men, one black and one Hispanic, robbed Manufacturer's Hanover. The Hispanic robber was described by witnesses as about 5'8" tall, approximately 120 to 130 pounds, about 20 to 23 years old and having a light complexion and a mustache. Members of the J.B.R.T.F. reported that there were four surveillance photographs of the bank robbers and these photographs showed a black male and a shorter Hispanic male leaving the bank. Complaint ¶¶ 1-3.

Agent Congregane reported that an individual named Roosevelt Hendrix had been arrested on federal bank robbery charges and had signed a written statement admitting the Manufacturer's Hanover robbery and stating that his accomplice was the defendant Ronald Rivera. Complaint ¶¶ 4-5. Other members of the J.B.R.T.F. reported that the Hispanic male in the surveillance photographs "appears to resemble the defendant." Complaint ¶ 6. Agent Congregane reported that another defendant had admitted committing "other bank robberies" with the defendant. Complaint ¶ 7. The Complaint was signed and a warrant issued for the defendant's arrest.

The arrest warrant was executed on the defendant on April 26, 1990 when Detective Gerald M. Clarke of the New York City Police Department and Special Agent E. Michael Dressler of the F.B.I., two members of the J.B.R.T.F., arrested the defendant after he was released to them by the New York City Corrections Department. Affidavit of Detective Gerald M. Clarke ¶ 4 ("Clarke Aff."). The defendant had just been sentenced to six months incarceration in an unrelated state robbery case. Affidavit of J. Bruce Maffeo, Esq. ¶ 6 ("Maffeo Aff."). Although detectives had been at the courthouse for much of the afternoon, the defendant was not released to the J.B. R.T.F. members until 7:30 p.m. At that point the J.B.R.T.F. members placed the defendant under arrest but they did not question him. Clarke Aff. ¶ 4. Detective Clarke states that he "knew that the federal magistrate's court was closed for the evening," so he and Agent Dressler took the defendant to the Metropolitan Correctional Center ("M.C.C.") to spend the night. Clarke Aff. ¶ 5. At the M.C.C. the defendant requested special security because he thought he recognized certain inmates as being involved in the killing of his brother. Neither Detective Clarke nor Agent Dressler questioned the defendant about the charges pending against him. Clarke Aff. ¶¶ 6-7.

On the morning of April 27, 1990 the defendant was taken from the M.C.C. to the F.B.I. offices at 26 Federal Plaza for processing before arraignment. Special Agent Mary Galligan, who along with Detective Patricia Carter took custody of the defendant, reports that while she arrived at the M.C.C. to pick up the defendant at 8:40 a.m., he was not available until 10:00 a.m. because of special security measures taken for the defendant. Affidavit of Special Agent Mary E. Galligan ¶ 3 ("Galligan Aff."). Counsel for the defendant states that at the defendant's arraignment later in the day, the government represented that the defendant had been picked up at 8:30 a.m. Maffeo Aff. ¶ 9. For the purposes of this motion, I will view the facts in the light most favorable to the government and assume the defendant was released at 10:00 a.m. Agent Galligan and Detective Carter took the defendant to F.B.I. offices at 26 Federal Plaza for processing which include fingerprinting and photographing the defendant, and taking his background history. Galligan Aff. ¶ 5. During transit, Agent Galligan reports that the defendant made certain inculpatory statements about his involvement in bank robberies. Galligan Aff. ¶ 6.

At 26 Federal Plaza the defendant was processed for about 65 minutes. At 11:20 a.m., after Rivera was processed, Detective Galligan read the defendant his rights and the defendant signed a written waiver form waiving those rights. Galligan Aff. ¶ 7. After waiving his rights defendant was given coffee and also a chance to call his mother. Agent Galligan and a Detective Ernest Bostic then interviewed the defendant for about 30 minutes and prepared a written statement for Rivera based on this interview. The defendant then reviewed and corrected the statement and signed it, all of which took approximately 40 minutes. Galligan Aff. ¶¶ 9-10. The defendant's statement admitted involvement in three robberies, including that of Manufacturer's Hanover. Maffeo Aff., Exhibit E. Agent Galligan and Detective Bostic then took the defendant to the United States Courthouse to be presented. The defendant arrived at the courthouse at about 1:00 p.m. The processing procedures of the Pretrial Services Agency and the Marshals Service took until approximately 3:00 p.m. After consulting with an attorney at 3:20 p.m., the defendant was presented before the magistrate at about 4:15 p.m. Galligan Aff. ¶¶ 11-15.

Defendant has moved to suppress the incriminating statement signed on the afternoon of April 27, 1990. Defendant's counsel contends that the arrest warrant for the defendant was based on an affidavit that omitted critical facts and so the arrest was illegal and any statements taken after it are inadmissible. Counsel avers that Hendrix initially claimed that he had committed the Manufacturer's Hanover robbery alone and admitted that he had a history of substance abuse. Maffeo Aff. ¶ 5. Counsel also argues that the defendant's arrest immediately after the conclusion of his state court proceedings evidences a government attempt to circumvent the defendant's appointed counsel in his state case. Counsel contends that the delay between the defendant's arrest at 7:30 p.m. and his arraignment at 4:15 p.m. the following day was an unacceptable delay before presenting the defendant for arraignment. Maffeo Aff. ¶ 11.

DISCUSSI ...


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