This is a twenty-four hour take home exam. It must be returned to Jackie Capranica in the Holmes Suite within 24 hours after you pick it up. The rules governing this exam are contained on the attached cover sheet and must be followed carefully.
There is one question. In answering it, remember that I DO NOT want and will not give credit for a general discussion of the law. Rather, your exam should reflect a discussion of the relevant law and policy in the context of the given facts.
Restrict yourself, as much as possible, to the facts given. If additional facts are needed, state what they are and why, but do not change the facts.
You may type or write your answer. If you type, please double space. If you write, please write legibly and on only one side of each page.
Officer Otis Oliver was in his car with his partner, Paul Partna, on their way to interview a witness when they heard a radio report that a large black dog was roaming the neighborhood in which they were located and chasing people. An animal control officer responded to the call, indicating he could get to the area in about ten minutes. Oliver responded that, since they were in the area, they would be on the lookout for the dog. About five minutes later, they received a second report indicating that a large black dog had bitten a four year old girl not far from where they were located and was seen running east from the scene. The report indicated that the victim and a witness both described the dog as a large black Lab with a red collar. About two minutes later, Oliver saw a large black Lab with a red collar running east, and he and Partna gave chase in their vehicle. After they had followed the dog for almost two minutes, it ran through a fence that was slightly ajar and entered the house at 1234 Main through a side door.
The officers radioed what they had seen and the animal control officer responded that he would be at that location in less than three minutes. Meanwhile, Oliver and Partna exited their vehicle and approached the house. Initially, they closed the fence so the dog could not re-exit the premises. They then went up the walkway leading to the front door and rang the doorbell. They waited, rang again, and waited again for four or five minutes. By that time, the animal control officer had arrived, but no one answered the door. The officers tried the front door but it was locked and secure. They then went around to the side, opened the gate and walked up to the side door. They noticed that the side door had a "doggy door" that was big enough for the dog to enter through (but not big enough for a person). They tried the side door, and it was locked but not very secure. With a small amount of force and no damage, Oliver was able to get the door open, and he and the other two officers (Partna and the animal control officer) entered the house to look for the dog.
As the officers fanned out to find the dog, they heard barking coming from the basement. The three men went to the basement, where they saw six cages with dogs in them. They observed that the dogs were attractive, well groomed and appeared well cared for. The black Lab was not in the basement. The officers then left the basement looking for the Lab, and found her in an upstairs bedroom. Partna and the animal control officer cornered the dog and, using special equipment, safely got her under control. The animal control officer then transported her to the local animal shelter for testing and quarantine. Oliver and Partna made sure the house was secure and then returned to the station to try and reach the owner and make their report.
When they arrived back at the station, Partna obtained information about the owner of the house at 1234 Main. He was Douggie Drew, a single man who lived alone at that address. He had one dog registered to him, and it was a large black Lab named Luby. Partna tried to contact Drew at several numbers but was unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Oliver worked on their report, in which he put information about the dogs seen in the basement. While working on the report, he turned to Partna and asked, "What kind of dog do you think that black and white one with the funny beard was?" Partna answered that he had no idea, since heíd never seen a dog quite like it.
Officer Investigata overheard the end of the two officersí conversation and asked what they were talking about. Oliver mentioned seeing the cages in the basement at the house they entered, and Investigata asked Oliver to describe the animals he had seen. When Oliver began describing several of the dogs, Investigata became excited. He showed Oliver two pictures - one of a black and white dog with a beard, the other a small white dog with a fairly distinctive coat. Oliver indicated that the pictures looked a lot like two of the dogs they had seen at 1234 Main. Investigata then checked the descriptions of the other dogs in his report against Oliverís descriptions (some of which were sketchy, since he didnít pay a lot of attention to the animals he saw at the house) and two others matched fairly closely (Investigata didnít have pictures of these dogs to show Oliver). Investigata was investigating the theft of six valuable, show-quality dogs over the past few weeks and had had no leads. This breakthrough got him quite excited.
Oliver and Investigata decided to work together on the case of the stolen dogs. Rather than arrest Drew and seize the dogs right away, they decided to try and see who he was working with. They devised a plan to go wait for him to return from work, and to approach him at that time. They hoped maybe he would provide some information that would be helpful. Their backup plan, if they did not find an opportunity to get information from Drew, was to take a few tracking devices with them and, if they could manage to get near the cages, to place these devices on the cages so they could find out where they were eventually to be taken.
Pursuant to their plan, Oliver and Investigata went to the area of 1234 Main late in the afternoon when they expected Drew might return from work. After they had waited for about fifteen minutes in their car across the street from Drewís house, a car drove up and entered the house through the garage. Oliver and Investigata walked up to the front door of the house and rang the doorbell. When the man who had driven the car into the garage answered the door, the officers identified themselves and asked if he was Douggie Drew. When the man responded in the affirmative, they asked if they could come in, and the man immediately asked what was wrong. "Itís not my dog, is it? Sheís not hurt, is she? Tell me sheís OK." Oliver responded that she was not hurt, but that she had bit a child and was being held at the animal shelter. He explained that rabies tests had to be done within 24 hours so that, if she tested positive, the child who had been bitten could get rabies shots in time. He further explained that she would have to be quarantined for at least three days and that, if all went well, he might be able to get her back shortly thereafter.
Drew, who had gotten very upset when Oliver told him about the dog, seemed to calm down some at this latest information. "All I want is my dog back. Sheís a good dog; I canít believe she hurt a child. The kid must have really done something to upset her. But Iíll do whatever it takes to get her back." As Drew was finishing his statement, Oliver heard barking coming from downstairs. "Do you have other animals?" Drew responded that he was watching some dogs for a friend. Oliver asked if he could see the dogs, and Drew initially appeared hesitant. Oliver then said, "Yíknow, one factor in whether you get your dog back is how you care for your pets. If youíre taking good care of the animals, that might help you with your dog." Upon hearing this, Drew said, "OK, Iíll let you see them. Iím keeping them caged because my friend prefers it, but youíll see theyíre well taken care of." With that, Drew led the men down to the basement to see the dogs.
When they got downstairs, Oliver engaged Drew in conversation while Investigata went to look more closely at the dogs in the cages. When he did so, he discreetly put transmitters on three of the cages, hidden from view. After looking at the cages, Investigata turned to Drew and stated, "These are nice looking dogs. Does your friend show them?" Drew responded, "Yeah, we both love big dogs. I miss Luby already. I canít wait to get her back. Can I visit her? When can I pick her up?" Oliver told Drew he could go see her after 36 hours and that, if all went well, she could be released in three to four days. Oliver told Drew that someone from animal control would contact him with details, and with that, the officers left.
For the next two days, Oliver and Investigata took turns monitoring the beepers placed in the cages. Initially, there was no movement indicated. Then, late in the afternoon on the third day, the beeper indicated that all three cages were being moved. The officers used the beeper signal to determine that the cages had been placed in a truck that was traveling east toward the outskirts of the county. They began to follow the truck, but since the area was not heavily traveled, they had to keep their distance to avoid being detected. The beeper transmissions allowed them to stay back and still keep track of the truck. It appeared that the truck did not want to be followed because it backtracked a few times on back roads as if to avoid being followed. After just over an hour of tracking the beeper transmissions, the officers noted that the cages had come to rest just before the county line. The truck had apparently stopped and it appeared from the slow movement of the cages that they were being unloaded. Because the area was sparsely populated, the officers could not get close to the scene without being seen. Because of the densely wooded area, they were unable to do visual surveillance. Thus, they relied on the beeper transmissions to determine the location of the cages.
After some plotting with their computerized mapping system (located in the surveillance van), the officers determined that the cages had been taken to Rural Tract #124, which, from survey descriptions, they could identify as a several acre lot with a house, a large fenced yard and a small barn within the fenced area. By now it was after 8:00 p.m., so the officers decided to continue their surveillance overnight with the intent to obtain a search warrant for Tract 124 in the morning. However, about two hours later, the monitoring equipment indicated movement of one of the cages. The officers then felt they had to act. They radioed for backup and developed their plan.
Investigata, along with one backup unit, proceeded to stop the vehicle (a large van) that was exiting Tract 124. They searched the van and found the cage with one of the stolen dogs in the rear. They also found AKC (American Kennel Club) registration forms in an envelope on the front seat. The forms, which looked genuine, had apparently been altered to allow the dogís new owner to register it under a new name. They arrested the driver of the van, later identified as Bob Buyer.
Meanwhile, Oliver, along with the other backup unit, had driven up the winding driveway to the area of Tract 124 with the house and barn. When he arrived, he saw two vans and a car parked on the gravel driveway. One of the cages was on the ground next to one of the vans, which had its back door opened. Oliver radioed for information on the vehicles and determined that that van belonged to Carl Courier. The other two vehicles were registered to Erik Exotica, who was also listed as the owner of Tract 124. The report indicated that Exotica had previously been indicted and was currently awaiting trial on federal charges for illegally importing exotic animals from Africa into the United States. Oliver shared this information with the other officers.
The officers then knocked on the door of the house and, after receiving no answer, forcibly entered the premises. They found two men in a large den at the back of the house. They asked both men to identify themselves and they identified themselves as Carl Courier and Erik Exotica. At that point, Oliver placed both men under arrest and gave them full Miranda warnings. They were both searched and a small quantity of marijuana was found in Courierís pocket. One of the backup officers saw an envelope on a desk at the far end of the den and opened it. It contained additional AKC registration papers. Another backup officer, walking through an upstairs bedroom, saw several pictures of exotic animals on a desk and seized them as well. The officers then left the premises to transport the arrestees to the station house. The backup officers heard dogs barking and found the remaining four cages in the small barn behind the house. They loaded the five cages (with the dogs inside) into their vehicles for transport to the station as well.
The following morning, Drew arrived at the animal shelter to see if he could pick up Luby. When he arrived, Oliver, Investigata and Partna were waiting there for him. Before he could request that Luby be returned to him, Oliver said, "We need to talk to you." Drew responded, "Is there a problem?," to which Oliver replied, "Unfortunately, I think so." Drew asked, "Whatís the problem. Sheís behaved real well at the shelter, and Iíve posted a bond to compensate the victim for her medical costs. Thereís no objection from the girlís family. Why canít I just get her and go?" Oliver replied, "Itís not that. You have more serious problems. Youíd better come with us and we can explain." Drew asked, "Canít I pick her up first," to which Oliver replied, "We need to talk to you first. Come on with us, then weíll see what happens." Reluctantly, Drew followed the officers to the police car and they drove the few blocks to the station.
When they arrived at the station, the officers took Drew to an interview room. Oliver then said, "Weíve got a real problem here. Unfortunately, just when your dog is getting out of lockup, it looks like maybe youíre heading in." Drew, obviously upset by this comment, responded, "What do you mean. People donít go to jail for leash law violations. They just get tickets for that." Oliver then responded, "You donít get it, itís not Lubyís biting the kid, itís the other dogs. The stolen ones. I just donít understand how you, who purport to love your dog so much, can be involved with stealing dogs from other people and selling them. It just doesnít make any sense to me." Drew immediately responded, "I love my dog. But those people who own those show dogs - they donít love those dogs, they donít even really care about them. They do it for the fame and money, not for the love and companionship. I donít feel badly taking them, and maybe they get sold to better owners. Even if not, itís not like Iím taking anybodyís pet. Itís business." Oliver then responded, "Well, it may be business, but it looks like youíre out of business." With that, Drew was taken to a holding cell to await booking and an appearance before the judge.
When Drew arrived in the holding cell, he saw a familiar face. Exotica was also awaiting his turn before the judge. He had been placed in the holding cell after his arrest during the night and was to be taken before the judge as soon as court opened at 10. When Exotica saw Drew, he realized the police probably had things pretty well figured out, but he still hoped they could avoid being convicted. He approached Drew and said, "Donít say anything if they talk to you. Do like I did last time with the feds and like Iím gonna do now - tell them you want a lawyer. I got a good one. Get yourself a good lawyer too." With that, Investigata came to take Exotica to an interview room. Unbeknownst to Exotica, the holding cell is monitored and his comments to Drew were heard by the officers.
When they arrived at the interview room, they met Oliver there. He said to Exotica, "Weíd like to talk to you." Exotica responded, "Iíve got a lawyer," to which Oliver responded, "Thatís OK, Ďcause your friend there has been spilling his guts, so we donít really need you. He wanted to help himself, so heís given you up. But you, youíll hold out, and then it will be too late. Everybody will be pointing at you, and thereíll be no one for you to point at. Then youíll take the big fall, just like you did with those federal charges. You couldnít get a deal Ďcause there was no one left to deal for. And thatís likely to happen here as well. But if thatís what you want, have it your way. Itís just too bad, because I donít think youíre the worst of them. In fact, youíre probably less culpable than most of those who will get off easy. But thatís just the breaks." Oliver started to walk out when Exotica said, "Wait. Can I still get a deal if I cooperate?" Oliver responded, "That depends. I donít think you really have anything to give us, but if you do, you can still help yourself. Is there anybody you can help us with? Anybody you buy from or sell to? People here or overseas? Who can you give us that we donít already got?" Exotica thought for a few seconds and then said, "How about my supplier in Africa. The one who got me the birds. I know the feds are interested in that. And I can give you the others who planned to buy the dogs. Will that do it?" Oliver responded, "Itís a start," and Exotica proceeded to provide extensive information about his illegal activities.
Douggie Drew has been charged with theft of animals, possession of stolen property (the dogs) and trafficking in stolen animals. Erik Exotica has been charged with importing exotic animals in violation of federal law, receiving stolen property and trafficking in stolen animals. Bob Buyer has been charged with receiving stolen property. Carl Courier has been charged with receiving stolen property and possession of marijuana. All relevant evidence is being admitted against each individual. Discuss all criminal procedure issues raised by these facts.