N-M Ct.Crim.App.: Lack of CO’s actual authority to issue search authorization fatal to search; no GFE

The Court Martial judge erred in concluding that a particular major had authority to authorize searches of appellant’s body, office, and personal property because she was not a “commander” for the purposes of Mil. R. Evid. 315 even though her commanding officer referred to her as an officer in charge. Nor did the command devolve to her upon the CO’s deployment. Good faith exception to the exclusionary rule in Mil. R. Evid. 311(c)(3) did not support the admissibility of the evidence because the search was not authorized by a competent individual, even if the court martial were to find that agents reasonably believed the major had search authority. United States v. Armendariz, 2019 CCA LEXIS 224 (N.-M. Ct. Crim. App. May 22, 2019).

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