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United States v. Carey

836 F.3d 1092 (2016)

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United States v. Carey

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

836 F.3d 1092 (2016)

Facts

Federal law enforcement agents obtained a wiretap order for a phone number that they had probable cause to believe was being used in connection with a drug smuggling and distribution conspiracy. The agents believed that Ignacio Escamilla Estrada (Escamilla) or his associates were using the phone. The agents overheard drug-related conversations being conducted over the phone from the wiretap. At some point, however, the agents realized that the speakers on the phone were not Escamilla or anyone related to his conspiracy. The agents continued to monitor the phone after coming to this realization and eventually tracked and arrested Adrian Madrid based on the information obtained from the wiretap. There was an ongoing federal investigation into Madrid’s drug conspiracies but no overlap or connection between Escamilla and Madrid. Michael Carey (defendant) was a member of Madrid’s conspiracy. Carey was eventually indicted for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Carey moved to suppress any evidence derived from the wiretap, alleging that the wiretap was invalid because it was only authorized for surveillance of Escamilla. The district court denied Carey’s motion to suppress, ruling that law enforcement had validly obtained the wiretap order against Escamilla and could use the evidence gathered against Carey. Carey pled guilty in an agreement that preserved his right to appeal, and he then appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gould, J.)

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