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Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Custody Battle

United Stateds v. FNU LNU, No. 10-419-cr (2d Cir. August 9, 2011)

(Jacobs, Calabresi, Lohier, CJJ)

Defendant, traveling under the name Sandra Calzada, arrived at JFK on a flight from the DR. A border patrol agent noticed that Calzada had an open arrest warrant, and flagged her for secondary inspection. An “armed guard” escorted her to the secondary inspection room, from which she was not free to leave, and the agent questioned her for 90 minutes without first reading the Miranda warnings.

The interrogation included questions about her pedigree, passport and the like. Eventually, the agent found some discrepancies: she did not look like the photograph on the original passport application, gave inconsistent biographic information, and could not recall any of her addresses in Puerto Rico, where she said she was born.

The district court refused to suppress the statements, holding that Miranda warnings were not required during a “routine …

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