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United States v. Ruddell

filed: December 4, 1995.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JEROME RUDDELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On Remand from the Supreme Court of the United States. D.C. No. CR-91-00307-LDG.

Before: Betty B. Fletcher, Cecil F. Poole, and Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge O'Scannlain.

Author: O'scannlain

O'SCANNLAIN, Circuit Judge:

We must decide whether a magistrate Judge properly issued an anticipatory search warrant conditioned upon the controlled delivery of contraband.

I

On March 6, 1991, Ruddell wrote to an "adult" bookstore inquiring about obtaining videotapes of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The bookstore informed the United States Postal Inspection Service of Ruddell's interest in child pornography. On April 3, an undercover United States postal inspector wrote to Ruddell and requested more information regarding his interest in child pornography. Upon receiving Ruddell's response, the postal inspector sent Ruddell a list of five videotapes which depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Ruddell subsequently ordered a videotape entitled "Little Ones in Love" and enclosed a $60 money order as payment.

On May 28, United States Postal Inspector Karyn Lefebvre filed an affidavit with a magistrate Judge in support of an application for a search warrant of Ruddell's premises. In her affidavit, Inspector Lefebvre stated that: (1) she had received extensive training in the area of sexual exploitation of minors; (2) she had been informed that Ruddell had ordered "Little Ones in Love," which depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct; and (3) she had a copy of "Little Ones in Love" and intended to deliver it to Ruddell's home. Inspector Lefebvre also stated that she had been advised by an Assistant United States Attorney that such a controlled delivery provides sufficient probable cause for the issuance and execution of a search warrant which the magistrate Judge then authorized. Inspector Lefebvre subsequently executed a "controlled delivery" of the videotape to Ruddell's residence. Fifteen minutes after the delivery, Inspector Lefebvre initiated the search of Ruddell's residence, and the executing officers seized the videotape.

On December 18, 1991, Ruddell was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of knowingly receiving a videotape depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2).*fn1

Ruddell filed a motion to suppress, asserting that all evidence seized as a result of execution of the search warrant on his premises should be suppressed because the postal inspector had obtained an "anticipatory" search warrant before the pornography had been delivered to his home. Ruddell also argued that Inspector Lefebvre had misled the magistrate Judge when she stated that the videotape depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. A second magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation on the motion to suppress, concluding that: (1) there was probable cause to issue the warrant; (2) the warrant was anticipatory, but Inspector Lefebvre understood its conditional nature and did not execute the warrant until the videotape had been delivered to Ruddell's home; and (3) the warrant did not contain materially false statements. The district court reviewed Ruddell's motion to suppress, concluding that Ruddell's objections were "completely meritless," and adopted the magistrate Judge's recommendation.

Ruddell subsequently pled guilty as charged, but reserved the right to appeal the district court's denial of the motion to suppress, pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(a)(2). On July 27, 1992, Ruddell was sentenced to twelve months and one day incarceration and fined $1000. He was granted release pending appeal.

Ruddell appealed. While Ruddell's appeal was pending, this court held that 18 U.S.C. § 2252 was unconstitutional for failing to apply a scienter requirement to elements of the crime concerning minority of performers and sexually explicit nature of the material. United States v. X-Citement Video, Inc., 982 F.2d 1285 (9th Cir. 1992). This court thereafter reversed Ruddell's conviction based on our decision in X-Citement Video. United States v. Ruddell, 2 F.3d 1159 (9th Cir. 1993).

The United States petitioned the Supreme Court for Writ of Certiorari in both X-Citement Video and Ruddell. While the petition was pending in the instant case, the Supreme Court reversed this court's decision in X-Citement Video, and held that 18 U.S.C. § 2252 was constitutional. United States v. X-Citement Video, Inc., 513 U.S. , 130 L. Ed. 2d 372, 115 S. Ct. 464 (1994). The Supreme Court subsequently granted certiorari in Ruddell, vacated this court's reversal of Ruddell's conviction, and remanded the case to this court for consideration of the remaining issues. United States v. Ruddell, 130 L. Ed. 2d 780, 115 S. Ct. 894 (1995). We now address those issues which we did not reach in Ruddell's first appeal.

II

Ruddell argues that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress the evidence obtained at his residence on May 28, 1991. He claims that the search warrant was defective because it was an ...


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