D.Colo.: Failure to call the officers with enough information to show collective knowledge as witnesses made govt fail in its burden of proof

The government failed to prove collective knowledge at the hearing on the motion to suppress. A critical witness to collective knowledge wasn’t called. United States v. De La Rosa-Calderon, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3378 (D. Colo. Jan. 7, 2021):

But these are not the facts before the Court. Critically, given the uncontroverted evidence adduced at the hearing on the Motion, it is manifest that neither element of the doctrine were established here. Special Agent Moham candidly, and refreshingly, admitted he could not state definitively whether or not Officers Hume and/or Carreno received either of his radio communications. Officer Hume—the only individual who could have confirmed from personal knowledge receipt of this communication from the person knowing the basis for probable cause—failed to appear at the hearing to provide this critical testimony. Without these decisive pieces of evidence, the Court cannot eliminate the alternative possibility that Officer Hume was contacted by some other law enforcement officer who had no knowledge whatsoever of the basis for the probable cause to arrest and subsequently interrogate Pappas. The Court concludes that in order to uphold the vital constitutional protections the Fourth Amendment affords persons in Pappas’ situation, it is the Government alone which must bear the adverse consequences of Officer Hume’s inability or unwillingness to testify before the Court on the issues presented here.

The Court therefore finds and concludes that the Government has failed to prove that probable cause supported Officers Hume and Carreno’s arrest of Pappas on February 5, 2020. Accordingly, the evidence seized as a result of his arrest (his car keys, his physical ID cards, cash, and the Toyota), as well as his post-arrest statement, must and will be suppressed.

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