N.D.Cal.: Officers knew or should have known target location was multifamily; SW for gun in one unit didn’t permit search of all five

“The issue in defendant Josue Olman Martinez’s motion to suppress is whether it was reasonable for officers to continue to search a property that they may have initially assumed was a single family residence once they knew or should have known that it was multi-unit. The officers were searching for a gun used in a murder, had information that the mother of the suspect had hidden the gun at her residence, and were executing a warrant that allowed them to search the residence. But when they arrived, they quickly learned that several other people lived at the premises. After the officers determined where the mother resided, and searched her locked room, they broke into two other padlocked rooms, which were studio apartments, and searched a fourth room by consent and learned that it was a studio apartment as well. Despite this knowledge, which indisputably showed that the warrant they were executing was overbroad, they broke into a fifth room, which was also padlocked, and found methamphetamine and cocaine belonging to Martinez. This case is on all fours with Mena v. Simi Valley, 226 F.3d 1031 (9th Cir. 2000), where the Ninth Circuit found that officers were not entitled to qualified immunity for a very similar search. I GRANT Martinez’s motion to suppress.” United States v. Martinez, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162115 (N.D.Cal. Nov. 22, 2016).

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