Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Mancilla-Ibarra: Probable Cause Supported Arrest, and Safety Valve Did Not Apply Based on Failure to Disclose All Truthful Information

In United States v. Mancilla-Ibarra, No. 17-13663 (Jan. 15, 2020) (William Pryor, Jill Pryor, Robreno), the Court affirmed the defendant's drug conviction and sentence.

First, the Court upheld the denial of a suppression motion, finding that probable cause supported the defendant's arrest based on information provided by an informant.  The Court found that, under the totality of the circumstances of that case, the informant's tip was shown to be veritable, reliable, and corroborated.

Second, the Court upheld the refusal to apply a two-level reduction under the safety-valve provision in 2D1.1(b)(17).  At issue was whether the defendant satisfied the fifth criteria for truthfully disclosing all information about the offense.  To show that the defendant failed to do so, the government relied on testimony by an agent with only second-hand information who had no personal knowledge about the defendant's interview.  That equivocal and uncorroborated account was not sufficiently reliable.  However, the defendant bore the burden to prove that he disclosed all truthful information, and the record undermined his assertion that he made only two drug deliveries.