Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

UNITED STATES v. RUSH

November 10, 1987

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Katrine Teresa Rush, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SPORKIN

 Stanley Sporkin, United States District Judge

 I. SUMMARY

 This matter is now before me on defendant's motion to suppress both physical and testimonial evidence. An evidentiary hearing was held on September 18, 1987. After a careful review of the facts and the relevant caselaw I have concluded that the motion to suppress should be denied.

 This case raises two questions. First, I must determine whether the government had a sufficient basis to "stop" Ms. Rush. I find that the government agents' initial stop of Ms. Rush was justified and measures up to the "articulable suspicion" standard.

 Second, I must decide whether the government agents properly searched Ms. Rush's bags. After the government agents had made their initial, legitimate investigative stop of defendant, I find that they received defendant's voluntary consent to search her baggage. In reaching that conclusion, I find that at the time the defendant gave her consent to a search of her baggage she was free to leave the premises -- that at all times leading up to the agents' discovery of the cocaine in her suitcase she could have walked away had she chosen to do so. In short, Ms. Rush was not "seized," nor was her freedom to walk away restrained by the government agents until after her voluntary consent to search had led to the discovery of a large quantity of cocaine in her baggage.

 II. FACTS

 Based on the testimony of Inspector Calvin Burns, Detective Mike Bernier, Special Agent Paul Kozich and the defendant, Ms. Katrine Rush, and my review of both the government's brief and defendant's two briefs, I find the following relevant facts took place on May 11-12, 1987:

 2) The information concerned Katrine ("Trina") Rush, who was described by Detective Noriga as a black female, approximately 5'6", 140-150 pounds, wearing a pink jogging suit and carrying a beige coat bag, a beige handbag and a yellow shopping bag. According to Detective Noriga, Ms. Rush's clothing and baggage all appeared to be new. She was observed arriving at the Miami train station by taxi approximately thirty minutes before the scheduled departure of her train.

 3) The Miami agents described Ms. Rush as "very nervous." The agents' check of the passenger list for train 98 revealed that Ms. Rush paid for her one-way $ 118.00 ticket in cash.

 4) The agents telephoned the Miami number which Ms. Rush had provided to Amtrak as a "call back" number. A male answered the telephone. In response to the agent's inquiries about Katrine Rush, be became angry. He wondered why Ms. Rush had given out his number. According to the uncontradicted account of the government agent, the unknown male then stated, "don't ever call this number again."

 5) The agents in Miami determined that it would be appropriate to conduct an interview of Ms. Rush upon her arrival in Washington, D.C.

 Their suspicion that Ms. Rush was a drug courier and their decision therefore to interview Ms. Rush was based on a number of factors, including: A) Ms. Rush purchased a one-way ticket and she paid for it in cash; B) Ms. Rush arrived at the train station only a half hour before the scheduled departure of her train; C) Ms. Rush arrived at the station by public transportation -- a taxicab; D) Ms. Rush made her reservation only the night before the train's departure and was very nervous when she arrived at the Miami train station; E) Ms. Rush listed a home telephone number in Miami, Florida; F) The individual who answered the telephone at the call back number Ms. Rush provided Amtrak made it clear that he did not want to be associated in any way with Ms. Rush and that he was upset that Ms. Rush had given out his telephone number.

 6) The Miami agents contacted their counterparts in Washington, D.C. and conveyed to them the information they had gathered. The principal agent in Washington was Investigator Calvin Burns, who was a Baltimore City policeman for six years prior to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.