United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable G. Murray Snow United States District Judge.
before the Court is Defendant James Dee Gilmore's Motion
to Suppress Statements and Request for Voluntariness Hearing.
(Doc. 20). For the reasons stated below, the motion is
granted in part and denied in part.
16, 2017 at 2:35pm, Defendant James Gilmore drove a truck
into the United States through the San Luiz, Arizona Port of
Entry. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers found
evidence of contraband in the spare tire of the truck. CBP
officers handcuffed Mr. Gilmore and escorted him to the
secondary inspection area. Mr. Gilmore told the CBP officer
that he worked as a hay loader and was driving to Yuma. Mr.
Gilmore said that the truck was owned by a mechanic in
Mexico. The CBP officers found a plastic bag with
methamphetamine in Mr. Gilmore's pocket, after which they
escorted Mr. Gilmore to a holding cell. Meanwhile, other
officers confirmed that the spare tire in Mr. Gilmore's
truck contained forty-seven pounds of Methamphetamine.
point, CBP Officer Soto visited the cell to take Mr.
Gilmore's intake photo. Soto recognized Mr. Gilmore from
a previous encounter at the border. Mr. Gilmore claims in his
briefing that Officer Soto told him that he should
“work with the Feds-that if he worked with them he
would probably go home.” Mr. Gilmore also claims that
Officer Soto later returned to the cell and encouraged Mr.
Gilmore to work with the special agents before his transfer
to the county jail. Officer Soto said that they had found a
lot of drugs in the spare tire and that other people were
released to go home after they spoke with agents and told
them truth. Mr. Gilmore claims that Special Agent Sheridan
then came to the holding room and said that he heard from
Officer Soto that Mr. Gilmore wanted to talk. Mr. Gilmore
said, “I guess.” Special Agent Sheridan said that
it could take a few days to get an attorney, and that they
might be able to clear up the problem now if Mr. Gilmore
revoked the invocation of his rights.
hearing, Officer Soto testified that he took Mr.
Gilmore's photo and asked if Mr. Gilmore remembered their
previous encounter. He further said, “well you just got
to be honest.” He then asked Mr. Gilmore what he did
for work, but that there was no other interchange between
5:40pm, Mr. Gilmore was escorted to an office for questioning
with Homeland Security Investigations Special Agents Crawford
and Sheridan. After brief introductions, Agent Crawford asked
“Do you have an idea of why you're here?” and
Mr. Gilmore responded, “Somewhat. I mean, I knew I was
- that thing I as supposed to throw away in my pocket but I -
I didn't get it thrown away, like, I supposed to. I
forgot about it.” The special agents then advised Mr.
Gilmore of his Miranda rights. When they asked,
“Would you like to speak with us or would you rather
speak with an attorney?” Mr. Gilmore asked whether he
was being held for the bag in his pocket, and when the
special agents stated that the CBP officers discovered
Methamphetamine in the spare tire, he said, “I think I
. . . wanna speak with attorney I think.” As the
special agents ended the interrogation, Mr. Gilmore made
several unsolicited statements about his truck and his
intended destination. Agent Sheridan then asked standard
booking questions and escorted Mr. Gilmore to a holding cell.
During questioning, Mr. Gilmore noted that he was
experiencing stomach pain and asked for Tylenol and to see a
doctor. The special agents told him that he could see a
doctor when they transferred him to the county jail. The
facts of the first interrogation are undisputed.
videotapes taken of persons accessing Mr. Gilmore's
holding cell show no interaction between Mr. Gilmore and Mr.
Soto after he was removed from his holding cell and invoked
his right to an attorney. But, according to testimony, at
6:27pm, someone called Agent Crawford and told her that Mr.
Gilmore wanted to speak with her and Agent Sheridan. After
deliberating about whether a suspect could revoke their right
to have an attorney, the special agents determined that Mr.
Gilmore could speak with them, and they escorted Mr. Gilmore
back to their office.
parties do not dispute the details of the second interview.
At 6:47pm, Special Agent Crawford said to Mr. Gilmore,
“you asked to speak with us again and to un-invoke your
rights and you wanted to talk to us.” Mr. Gilmore
responded, “Mm-hm” and nodded his head in
agreement. The special agent then read the Miranda
warnings. Mr. Gilmore said, “Yeah I'll wave my
rights.” He took a written document listing his rights,
initialed each right that he was waving, and then signed and
dated the document. The special agents then conducted an
interrogation for one hour.
the interrogation, Special Agent Sheridan escorted Mr.
Gilmore to the Yuma County detention center. Agent Sheridan
testified that Mr. Gilmore made several unsolicited
statements during the drive, including information about a
drug trafficker who recruited him and the process and price
to traffic drugs. Mr. Gilmore stated that he rejected this
Gilmore asks the Court to suppress his statements “made
after he was stopped at the border and drugs were found in
the spare tire of the vehicle he was driving . . . because
they were custodial statements elicited after Mr. Gilmore had
invoked his right to counsel.” (Doc. 20). Mr. Gilmore
made incriminating statements to law enforcement in three
separate circumstances. Each is analyzed separately.
Mr. Gilmore's First Interrogation with Agents Crawford