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UNITED STATES v. DEJESUS

December 20, 1995

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ALFREDO DEJESUS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRODY

 Brody, J.

 December 20, 1995

 On December 7, 1995, after consideration of the defendant's motion to suppress evidence, the government's response, an evidentiary hearing on the matter, and subsequent submissions by counsel for the government and the defendant, I issued an order denying the motion. This Memorandum of Decision makes findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to the order and discusses the conclusions of law.

 The defendant moved to suppress the following: his warrantless arrest; the warrantless searches of the van he allegedly carjacked; his written and/or oral statements; and Father Mark Shinn's identification of him.

 I. FINDINGS OF FACTS

 The parties have stipulated to many of the facts underlying the motion. I adopt their stipulations and incorporate them as findings of fact 1 through 20. *fn1"

 2. Once police arrived, they spoke to the victim, Father Mark Shinn, and obtained information regarding Father Shinn's carjacking, kidnapping, and shooting. He related that he could not identify his assailants, other than that they were three or four hispanic males. As part of the information received, they were told that the men were armed, and Father Shinn again gave a description of his van, which the perpetrators had stolen, including the Pennsylvania license plate number. While Father Shinn related this information to police, Emergency Medical Technician Christopher Williams was present.

 3. After giving the information to the police, Mr. Williams transported Father Shinn to Cooper Medical Center in Camden for treatment. Police put out an "all points bulletin" on police radios for the van.

 4. After transporting Father Shinn to Cooper, Mr. Williams and his partner, Shawn Vena, continued on their duties. Sometime before midnight, Williams and Vena saw the van described by Father Shinn earlier that evening, driving down the street. He then notified Camden police, via a portable radio, that he had the stolen van in sight, and was following it in his ambulance.

 5. Williams followed the van until he saw it pull over in the vicinity of 9th and Atlantic Streets, near Betty's Lounge, a bar. He saw three individuals in the van, but could not see their faces. He then reported over the radio that the van had stopped.

 6. Soon thereafter, Camden police arrived and arrested the individuals who were either in the van, or immediately outside the van at about 11:40 p.m. on July 6, 1995. This arrest was accomplished without a warrant.

 6A. The three individuals were identified as Jose Casiano, also known as Jose Rivera, Alfredo DeJesus, and J.C., a juvenile. All three were searched at the time of arrest for weapons and contraband. A GMBH .38 caliber revolver loaded with 6 hollow point rounds was found on defendant Casiano. The search of the suspects was accomplished without warrants.

 7. The van was searched at the arrest scene, without a warrant, immediately after the suspects were placed in custody. Police found a Jennings Firearms .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a Davis Industries .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a total of 13 live .380 rounds of ammunition, a sawed-off shotgun, and a rubber 2-sided mask of "Batman" and "the Joker" in the van. The van was then taken into custody by the Camden Police, and impounded.

 8. Father Shinn gave an oral statement to the Camden Police at the time they responded to the 911 call. While being treated at Cooper Medical Center, he told a Camden Police officer that he did not believe that he could identify his attackers.

 9. Father Shinn testified that he was never shown a photo array of suspects, a line-up, or a show-up by any law enforcement officers.

 10. On July 8, 1995, Father Shinn saw a newspaper article about his carjacking, kidnapping, and shooting on July 6th. Accompanying the article were two photographs of the two suspects; one of defendant DeJesus, another of defendant Casiano/Rivera. The photographs were arrest photographs provided to the newspaper by the Camden Police Department.

 11. Father Shinn has stated that he recognized the photograph of DeJesus as one of the individuals who had abducted him, and so informed Special Agent Walsh during an interview on July 13, 1995. He has stated that he did not recognize defendant Casiano from the photograph.

 13. On July 13, 1995, Special Agent James Walsh of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), went to the Camden Police impound lot, and recovered one pair of prescription eyeglasses and a wool blanket from the van. Agent Walsh also photographed the van. This was done without a warrant.

 14. On July 20, 1995, Agent Walsh again went to the van at the impound lot. This time he fingerprinted the van, and took a pack of Newport cigarettes, a plastic floor mat with red stains, and three pieces of clothing. This was done without a warrant.

 15. After his arrest at about 11:40 p.m., on July 6, 1995, defendant Alfredo DeJesus remained in custody. At approximately 3:45 a.m. on July 7, 1995, he was read his Miranda rights by Detective Richard Desmond, which he waived. When questioned, he maintained that he "didn't know" anything, and told police to "do what you have to do". After about 30 minutes, the interview was terminated by police. He did not request counsel, nor did he state that he wanted to remain silent. When Detective Desmond advised defendant DeJesus of his rights, he specified that DeJesus was being read his rights for weapons offenses, conspiracy, and aggravated assault, not for carjacking and kidnapping.

 16. DeJesus was in the custody of Camden, NJ authorities until July 24, 1995. Detective Desmond testified that normally suspects arrested in Camden are brought before a Magistrate within about 2 days, but that it would take no more than a week for a defendant to appear before a Magistrate.

 17. On July 11, 1995, defendant DeJesus was interviewed, by Special Agents Paul Murray, James Smith, and Delia Kane, who acted as a Spanish interpreter. He was read his Miranda rights, and waived those rights, confessing to his involvement in the carjacking, kidnapping, and shooting of Father Shinn. This interview took place at the FBI office in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Although the defendant was informed of his Miranda Rights, he was not informed of any specific charges against him.

 18. At some point between July 7, 1995 and July 11, 1995, Special Agent James Walsh of the FBI notified Camden authorities that the federal government planned to assume jurisdiction over the case.

 19. On July 20, 1995, a federal complaint and arrest warrant was issued by United States ...


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