United States v. Worjloh, No. 06-3129-cr (2d Cir. October 8, 2008) (Parker, Raggi, Hall, CJJ) (per curiam)
Although not yet charged with a federal offense, Worjloh was questioned by federal agents while he had state drug charges pending. The state charges were ultimately dismissed, and a federal indictment was returned. On appeal, he argued that his statements to the federal agents were obtained in violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
The circuit disagreed. Because Worjloh was not subject to federal charges when the feds questioned him, “no Sixth Amendment right to counsel had attached as to the then uncharged federal conduct.” The Sixth Amendment rights related to the state offenses did not “serve to restrict the ongoing investigation into uncharged federal crimes where, as here, that investigation is not tied to the state’s conduct.” It might be different if the federal prosecutors had sought to admit evidence obtained by state authorities in violation of the Sixth Amendment, but here, “there is no suggestion that Worjloh’s case was simply handed off from one sovereign to another.”
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