D.Nev.: To have standing in a package, one must be addressee or sender

In this conspiracy case involving mailed packages, none of the defendants were shown as the sender or addressee of this package. The defendant pursuing the motion didn’t even directly possess the package: He drove a woman to the post office who went in and retrieved the package. United States v. Hunsberger, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184703 (D. Nev. Sept. 23, 2016), adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29755 (D. Nev. March 2, 2017):

“It has long been established that an addressee has both a possessory and a privacy interest in a mailed package.” United States v. Jefferson, 566 F.3d 928, 933 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting United States v. Hernandez, 313 F.3d 1206, 1209 (9th Cir. 2002). Additionally, a person who mails a package has standing to contest a search of that package. See Hernandez, 313 F.3d at 1209. None of the defendants in the instant case is alleged to have mailed or received the package at issue in the search warrant. The affidavit states that Defendant Hunsberger drove the female who mailed the package to the post office, but the female is the one who entered the post office and stood in line to mail the parcel. Docket No. 181-1 at 6.

Defendants, therefore, have failed to demonstrate that they have a subjective expectation of privacy in package, one that society would recognize as objectively reasonable. Accordingly, defendants have not shown that they have a legitimate expectation of privacy in the package, and have not established standing to challenge the legality of the search. Therefore, the Court recommends DENYING Defendants’ motion to suppress for lack of standing.

As to probable cause, there was plenty: The packages contained DVD players loaded with cash shipped by Express Mail. The serial numbers were traced to an Ohio Target store. Store video showed somebody buying seven DVD players and shipping materials and plastic gloves. The good faith exception also would apply.

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