D.Conn.: Govt’s mere allegation def has possessory interest in package doesn’t give him standing; he still has to show it

Defendant can’t rely on the government’s representation they believe he has a possessory interest in a parcel. He has to show it, and here he did not. United States v. Franco, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18256 (D. Conn. Feb. 3, 2023):

Here, Mr. Franco was neither the sender nor the addressee of the parcel, and he has not demonstrated any additional factor that might give rise to an expectation of privacy. In the affidavits submitted with his motions, Mr. Franco does not claim that he owned the package, that he had the ability to regulate access to the package, or that he possessed the package at the time it was detained and searched. In fact, he notes specifically that he never exited the vehicle when Ms. Fox retrieved the parcel on March 7, 2022. First Franco Aff. ¶ 3.

Instead, Mr. Franco relies on what he characterizes as the Government’s allegation that he had a possessory interest in the parcel. But as noted above, the party seeking suppression bears the burden of establishing that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in an object, and courts in the Second Circuit have “routinely rejected efforts by defendants to establish Fourth Amendment standing based on the Government’s allegations or evidence.” United States v. White, No. 17-cr-611 (RWS), 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146444, 2018 WL 4103490, at *8 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2018) (citing United States v. Watson, 404 F.3d 163, 166-67 (2d Cir. 2005)).

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