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Name: United States v. Rodriguez
Case #: 04-30494
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/05/2006
Summary

Appellant Rodriguez was staying with Tammi Putnam and her children in an apartment. Appellant kept his belongings at the apartment and had a key to it. There was a warrant for Rodriguez’s arrest because he absconded from community supervision following incarceration. A joint fugitive task force was looking for him and conducting surveillance of another person who had been visiting him on a regular basis. Officers observed Rodriguez and the other person talking outside the apartment door, and arrested him. They found a large amount of cash and a bag of heroin on him. Rodriguez denied living in the apartment. Then Tammi arrived on the scene and also denied living in the apartment. After conversing with other apartment building residents, officers determined that Tammi had lied. They confronted her with the information, and told her that they would be obtaining a warrant to search the apartment, and that it would be secured until then. She was advised of her right to refuse to consent to the search. Tammi signed a consent card, and the officers searched the apartment, finding a gun under the couch. Rodriguez was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. His motion to suppress evidence was denied, and he was convicted by a jury. The appellate court affirmed the conviction. The totality of the circumstances led to the conclusion that the finding that Tammi consented voluntarily to the search were not clearly erroneous. Tammi was not in custody, the officers did not have guns drawn, and Tammi knew she had the right to refuse consent. Also, Tammi executed a consent form, reinforcing the conclusion that she voluntarily consented.