United States v. Nicolas Cobo-Cobo

United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 16-4097 ___________________________ United States of America lllllllllllllllllllll Plaintiff - Appellee v. Nicolas Cobo-Cobo lllllllllllllllllllll Defendant - Appellant ____________ Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Cedar Rapids ____________ Submitted: September 22, 2017 Filed: October 12, 2017 ____________ Before LOKEN, ARNOLD, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges. ____________ ARNOLD, Circuit Judge. After Nicolas Cobo-Cobo was indicted for misusing a social security number, see 42 U.S.C. ยง 408(a)(7)(B), he moved to suppress evidence obtained during a police encounter that occurred more than four years before. The district court,1 adopting the 1 The Honorable Linda R. Reade, then Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. report and recommendation of the magistrate judge,2 denied the motion. Cobo-Cobo pleaded guilty but reserved his right to appeal the district court's denial of his motion to suppress. He now appeals that ruling, and we affirm. Special Agents Michael Fischels and Andrew Lund with the Department of Homeland Security were helping a local police department investigate a stabbing incident when one Elias Mendoza-Marcos piqued their interest. According to Fischels, they followed Mendoza-Marcos to a laundromat and, once he got out of his car, Fischels told him that they were investigating a stabbing and began questioning him. Though it became apparent that Mendoza-Marcos was not involved in the stabbing, the agents began to suspect that Mendoza-Marcos might be in the country illegally when he could not furnish a government-issued form of identification. Mendoza-Marcos told the agents that he lived in an apartment in the building containing the laundromat and acknowledged that other people lived with him. He also admitted that he was from Guatemala and that he had no documentation authorizing him to live in the United States. The agents then arrested Mendoza-Marcos and asked him if he wanted to retrieve any items from his apartment to take with him to the immigration office. He said he did, and, according to both agents, consented to their entering the apartment with him. On their approach to the apartment, one of Mendoza-Marcos's roommates spoke with him through a window on the second floor. According to Lund, the roommate then opened the apartment door and did not object when the agents entered with Mendoza-Marcos. The agents asked Mendoza-Marcos and the roommate to round up others who were in the apartment, and, when they said that Cobo-Cobo was asleep in a bedroom, the agents requested that they wake him and gather everyone in the living room to speak with the agents. Like Mendoza-Marcos, the other occupants 2 The Honorable Jon Stuart Scoles, then Chief Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, now retired. -2- could not provide government-issued identifications, and, after questioning confirmed that they too were in the country illegally, the agents arrested them. It is important for present purposes that, as a result of this incident, the government obtained Cobo- Cobo's employment identification card from a ...

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