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United States v. Carona

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
660 F.3d 360 (2011)


Facts

While employed as a county sheriff, Carona (defendant) accepted bribes from Haidl. Haidl confessed to criminal activity during the course of a federal investigation and agreed to act as a government informant. Prosecutors for the United States government (plaintiff) directed Haidl to secretly record meetings with Carona. The federal prosecutors knew that Carona was represented by an attorney. After initial meetings failed to produce useful evidence, the prosecutors supplied Haidl with fabricated subpoena documents intended to provoke Carona into making incriminating statements. When Haidl confronted Carona with the fictitious subpoenas, Carona made self-incriminating statements. At trial, Carona argued that the use of false legal documents amounted to direct contact between the prosecution and a represented suspect in violation of California Rule 2-100. Carona moved to suppress the resulting statements. The district court refused to suppress the evidence obtained through Haidl’s use of the false subpoenas, even though it also concluded that the government prosecutors had violated California ethics rules. Carona appealed the district court’s decision to deny suppressing the related evidence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Clifton, J.)

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