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United States v. Archuleta

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

July 16, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellant,
v.
JOSHUA JAKE ARCHULETA, Defendant-Appellee.

(D.C. No. 2:13-CR-00132-CW-1) (D. Utah)

Before LUCERO, BALDOCK, and HOLMES, Circuit Judges.

ORDER AND JUDGMENT [*]

JEROME A. HOLMES Circuit Judge

Joshua Jake Archuleta was charged with being a drug user in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3). Mr. Archuleta was arrested after he admitted that the rifle he was carrying belonged to him and that he was addicted to methamphetamine. The government appeals from an order of the district court suppressing Mr. Archuleta's statements and the physical evidence obtained during his encounter with the police. Exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3731 and 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm.

I

At approximately 1:25 a.m. on January 10, 2013, Mr. Archuleta was riding a bicycle along the sidewalk in West Valley City, Utah. He was wearing a red backpack and carrying a nondescript black bag over one shoulder. Mr. Archuleta crossed the street and rode into a large, well-lit parking lot of a twenty-four-hour convenience store. As he did so, a police officer with the West Valley City Police Department pulled his patrol car in behind Mr. Archuleta and activated his overhead lights. In response, Mr. Archuleta stopped his bicycle in the parking lot.

The officer stated that he was on routine patrol when he observed Mr. Archuleta riding a bicycle at night with no lights. He described the location of the stop as a "high-crime area." Aplt. App. at 88 (Tr. Mot. to Suppress, dated May 16, 2013). As the officer testified:

[THE GOVERNMENT:] Have you previously made arrests in that area before?
[THE OFFICER:] I have.
[THE GOVERNMENT:] Would you describe it as a high-crime area?
[THE OFFICER:] Yes.
[THE GOVERNMENT:] Why is that?
[THE OFFICER:] The [convenience store] there on the corner usually has beer thefts, we have-we adjoin with a city connected, which is Kearns, usually is a crime area, a high-crime area as well. Id.

The officer had witnessed Mr. Archuleta ride his bicycle across the street and turn into the parking lot, an act which he believed constituted jaywalking. After stopping Mr. ...


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