From the United States District Court for the District of New
Mexico (D.C. NO. 1:16-CR-04572-WJ-1).
A. Walz, Walz and Associates, P.C., Albuquerque, New Mexico,
J. Aliberti, Assistant United States Attorney (John C.
Anderson, United States Attorney, with him on the brief),
Office of the United States Attorney, Albuquerque, New
Mexico, for Appellee.
TYMKOVICH, Chief Judge, BALDOCK, and CARSON, Circuit Judges.
Tymkovich, Chief Judge.
appeal arises from a home search that led to the discovery of
firearms possessed by William Warwick. After obtaining his
oral consent, law enforcement officials executed a search of
Warwick's home, looking for a potentially dangerous
fugitive. The officers found the fugitive hiding in a closet,
and noticed several firearms as well. Warwick claimed the
weapons as his own, and, after the officers learned he had a
previous felony conviction, they asked him a second time for
consent to search the house-this time to secure the firearms.
Warwick signed a consent form, and agents discovered
ammunition and illegal drugs in addition to the guns.
was charged with unlawful possession of firearms and drugs.
Before the district court he argued the evidence was
illegally obtained, claiming he never gave oral consent and
that his written consent was not voluntary. The district
court denied his motion to suppress the evidence, finding he
gave valid consent to the searches. We AFFIRM.
law enforcement agents approached Warwick's residence on
the morning of August 3, 2016 to execute an arrest warrant
for a gang-affiliated fugitive wanted for murder. FBI agents
had received a tip that the fugitive was staying at
Warwick's trailer. At approximately 11:40 AM, the agents
parked two cars in front of the property and one in the back.
Several agents drew their firearms, including one agent who
stood beside a vehicle and trained his firearm on the windows
above the front door while another officer knocked.
answered the knock and stepped outside. The officer at the
door asked if someone named "Shauna" was there and
Warwick said no. Officer testimony indicated Warwick
granted oral permission to search the residence at the
agent's request. According to Warwick, however, the
agents entered his residence from the rear while he was
talking with the officer at the front door, and he did not
grant oral consent to the search. The district court deemed
Warwick's contrary testimony not credible, finding
Warwick consented to entry and that no officer entered the
residence prior to his consent.
searched the residence for the fugitive and discovered her in
a bedroom closet. While securing her, an officer observed two
firearms in plain view in the closet. Officers continued a
protective search of the residence in places where a person
could hide, out of concern that other gang members might be
an officer remained outside with Warwick. Their conversation
was casual and friendly. Warwick was not permitted to enter
the residence while the officers searched for the fugitive.
Nevertheless, Warwick could move about the outside area.
After the fugitive was taken into custody, another agent
introduced himself to Warwick, explained the charges against
the fugitive, showed him the wanted poster, and told him
agents had seen firearms in the closet where she was found.
Warwick said he did not know the fugitive's true
identity. He also volunteered that the firearms in the closet
were his and offered his opinions on the Second Amendment. In
total, Warwick was loosely monitored for approximately
the discussion, an officer ran Warwick's criminal history
and determined he had been convicted of a felony. Warwick was
then asked to sign a consent-to-search form authorizing a
full search of the residence. The form read:
1. I have been asked by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation to permit a complete search ...