United States v. Mendez, No. 16-41057 (5th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm. On appeal, defendant challenged the admission of statements he made to officers confessing to his ownership of the firearms and ammunition. The court held that the connection between the unlawful stop and search and defendant's subsequent statements was sufficiently attenuated. In this case, defendant was informed of, and waived his Miranda rights; his lawful arrest for being a felon in possession of ammunition was a critical intervening circumstance; and the misconduct at issue was not purposeful and flagrant, but instead was motivated by legitimate safety concerns. Finally, the court noted that defendant's speculation as to how the officers may have exploited the unlawfully obtained revolver to secure his statements was simply too little, too late.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on April 16, 2018.