FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
MAINE Hon. George Z. Singal, U.S. District Judge
C. Andrews, with whom Robert C. Andrews Esquire P.C. was on
brief, for appellant.
M. Lipez, Assistant U.S. Attorney, with whom Halsey B. Frank,
U.S. Attorney, was on brief, for appellee.
Lynch, Circuit Judge, Souter, [*] Associate Justice, and Kayatta,
case concerns the denial of pretrial motions brought by a
defendant attacking his conviction for illegal reentry after
removal from the United States.
Ernesto Garcia-Zavala was a passenger in a van stopped in
Maine for seatbelt violations. The Maine State Trooper
conducting the stop spoke with the driver and passengers,
several of whom did not appear to be wearing their seatbelts
or to speak English. The Trooper contacted an Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) Officer for help identifying the
asked for his identification, Garcia-Zavala produced a
consular ID card. An ICE Officer ran that ID through ICE
databases and determined that Garcia-Zavala was suspected of
illegal reentry. When ICE officers arrived at the scene, they
placed Garcia-Zavala in administrative custody. Thirteen days
later, he was charged with one count of illegally entering
the United States after removal, in violation of 8 U.S.C.
§ 1326(a), and made his initial court appearance.
Garcia-Zavala was convicted after a bench trial.
appeal essentially raises two issues: (1) whether the
district court erred in not dismissing his indictment for
delay in presentment, in violation of Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 5(a), and (2) whether the district court
erred in not suppressing information that law enforcement had
gathered about him, including his identity.
affirm the district court's denial of Garcia-Zavala's
motion to dismiss and motion to suppress.
district court helpfully detailed a minute-by-minute account
of the traffic stop. United States v. Garcia-Zavala,
2018 WL 1091973, at *1-4 (D. Me. Feb. 28, 2018). We summarize
that account here.
September 9, 2017, Maine State Trooper Robert Burke III
observed a van whose front-seat passenger appeared not to be
wearing a seatbelt, a violation of Maine law. Id. at
*1 (citing Me. Stat. tit. 29-A, § 2081(3-A)). Burke
pulled the van over at 12:20 p.m. and asked the driver for
identification. Id. He then moved to the other side
of the van to ask the passengers questions. Id.
After receiving minimal responses, Burke asked if anyone in
the van spoke English. Id. Burke remarked that
several passengers did not appear to be wearing seatbelts and
did not seem to speak English. Id.
returned to his car and called Elliot Arsenault, an ICE
Deportation Officer. Id. at *2. Burke told Arsenault
that he had stopped a van for a seatbelt violation and that
he thought Arsenault should "come out" because he
believed that the stop would "lead to people from out of
this country." Id. Burke said that he intended
to issue tickets for seatbelt violations, so he needed ICE
assistance in identifying the van's occupants.