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United States v. Eagle

United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division

August 21, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIAN DOUGLAS EAGLE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Brian Morris United States District Court Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         Defendant Brian Eagle (Eagle) is charged by Indictment with one count of abusive sexual contact in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1153(a) and 2244(a)(1). The charge arises from an incident that allegedly occurred on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation on or about February 7, 2018. The Government alleges that Eagle engaged in sexual contact with a juvenile female identified as O.M. while O.M. was taking a shower in her home. Tribal law enforcement officers arrested Eagle shortly after the incident. Eagle was placed in tribal custody.

         FBI special agent Dave Burns and Tribal Criminal Investigator Sean Red Boy interviewed Eagle on February 8, 2018, and on May 3, 2018, at the Fort Peck Tribal Adult Detention Center in Popular, Montana. Both interviews were recorded. A CD recording of the February 8, 2018, interview has been filed as Exhibit 501. A CD recording of the May 3, 2018, interview has been filed as Exhibit 502.

         Eagle has moved to suppress all of the statements that he made during the interviews as well as “all evidence derived” from the interviews. (Doc. 16 at 8). The Government opposes the motion.

         The Court conducted a hearing on the motion on August 16, 2018. The Government presented testimony from Agent Burns. The parties submitted supplemental briefs on August 17, 2018. (Docs. 33, 34).

         BACKGROUND

         The Court makes the following factual findings based on the exhibits in the record and the testimony presented at the suppression hearing.

         a. Interview on February 8, 2018

         Agent Burns began the interview process on February 8, 2018, by presenting Eagle with a Miranda “Advice of Rights” form. (Doc. 16-1). Agent Burns asked Eagle if he was able to read the Advice of Rights form. Eagle responded that he could. Eagle read the Advice of Rights form aloud. Agent Burns asked Eagle if the Advice of Rights form made sense to him. Eagle responded that it did. The Advice of Rights form stated as follows:

“You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can be used against you in court.
You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask ...

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