revealed more incriminating evidence:
$22,956 in cash, two handguns, boxes of
ammunition, a mask, a wig, a pair of gloves, an empty air horn package, two fake license
plates, and, of course, the GPS tracker embedded within a stack of money.
At 5:38 p.m., the police allowed the detained motorists to return to their cars but kept
them there another 30 minutes to allow crime-scene investigators to gather information.
In total, the police detained the innocent motorists from 4:01 to 6:19 p.m.
Three days later, a federal grand jury indicted Paetsch on two counts: (1) armed bank
robbery, under 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a), (d); and (2) using and brandishing a firearm during
and in relation to a crime of violence, under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii).
Paetsch filed a motion to suppress statements he had made to police as well as the
physical evidence seized from his car. First, he argued that the initial stop had violated his
Fourth Amendment rights because the police lacked individualized suspicion that any
particular person stopped at the intersection had committed a crime. Second, he argued
that the stop had violated his Fourth Amendment rights because the intrusion on the
individuals’ Fourth Amendment interests outweighed the government’s interests.
The district court held a 3-day hearing and heard 16 witnesses testify. After this, it
granted Paetsch’s motion to suppress the statements he had made to police officers after
invoking his right to speak to an attorney. United States v. Paetsch, 900 F. Supp. 2d 1202,
1221–22 (D. Colo. 2012). But the district court denied the motion to suppress the
evidence seized from Paetsch’s car. Id. Paetsch conditionally pleaded guilty to both
counts, reserving his right to challenge the district court’s suppression order.
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