United States v. Camacho, No. 09-2415 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
After a gang fight, officers followed and stopped defendant by blocking his path. They did not recognize defendant or have reason to believe he was involved in gang activity. Based on his hand motions, as if he were protecting his abdomen, an officer placed a hand on defendant's waist. A struggle ensued, officers subdued defendant, and found a gun in his waistband. Defendant entered a conditional plea of guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition despite having a prior felony conviction (18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1)) and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number (18 U.S.C. 922(k)). The First Circuit reversed, holding that the gun should have been suppressed. The initial detention of defendant constituted a seizure rather than a consensual encounter; the officers lacked an objectively reasonable, particularized basis for suspecting him of criminal activity. Regardless of the validity of the "pat frisk," the evidence was tainted.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on December 2, 2011.