The Court of Appeals Affirmed The Denial of a Motion to Suppress Where The Defendant Was Not in Custody When He Made Statements and The Information He Possessed Images of Child Pornography Was Not Stale

Seventh Circuit Criminal Case Summaries: Search and Seizure - Miranda Warnings

United States v. Valley, No. 13-2870. Valley, who is 29, posed on the internet as a teenage boy and persuaded more than 50 underage girls to send him sexually explicit photographs of themselves. He also convinced one of them to meet in person for sex. Authorities learned of this activity while executing a search warrant of his mother’s home where Valley lived. Valley made incriminating statements during the search and moved to suppress those statements and the fruits of the search. The Court first noted that the short answer in this case ought to be that Valley waived any appellate claim about the adverse ruling on his motion to suppress because he did not object to the magistrate’s recommendation to the district court that the motions be denied. However, because the government did not argue the waiver, the Court addressed the merits. His first argument, that he was in custody during the search when he made his statements, had no merit. Valley was told he was free to leave during the search, the agents never drew their guns or threatened him, he was allowed to smoke and drink soda, and to move freely about the house. He also argued the information that he possessed images in September of 2010 was stale in May of 2011 when the warrant was issued and executed. The Court rejected this argument based on Seiver.