Defendant Has Affirmative Duty to Disclose for Safety-valve Reduction; Evidence of Hidden Compartment Provided PC to Search Truck

U.S. v. Stephenson, 2006 WL 1775552 (6/29/06) - A bad decision about what it takes to satisfy the disclosure part of the safety valve reduction. The defendant's offer to provide additional information upon the government's request does not satisfy the defendant's duty. The government does not have a duty to solicit information from the defendant after the defendant makes such an offer. The defendant has an affirmative duty to provide complete truthful information. The 10th distinguished this case from a 7th Circuit case where the defendant made a written request to be debriefed. But, to the extent the 7th Circuit held the government's refusal to accept the debrief request satisfied the disclosure requirement, the 10th refuses to follow the 7th. The government has no general obligation to grant a debriefing. The government's cooperation is unnecessary to comply with the disclosure requirement. The information the defendant did offer in this case was not enough to meet the requirement because the defendant did not tell "everything he knew" about his co-conspirators and probably falsely minimized his own role.

The officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant's truck based solely on evidence indicating the truck had a hidden compartment [height and color shade difference between the bed and cab, fender well painted black and too much metal inside fender well]. That evidence plus a fresh weld between the cab and bed and the officer's testimony that he found contraband in 90 % of the hidden compartments he'd found, established probable cause to search the truck and arrest the defendants.