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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Austin police officers received information from a confidential informant on June 14, 2004, that John Rudolph Martinez was in possession of cocaine in a motel room. On June 15, 2004, police set up surveillance of Room 319, Martinez’s room. One officer set up his surveillance in Room 320, across the hall from Room 319. Another officer stationed himself in the parking lot. At 12:40 a.m. on June 16, 2004, police officers obtained a search warrant to search Martinez’s motel room. The officers telephoned Martinez in his room, hoping to get him to open his room door. He did not answer. One of the officers, posing as a motel maintenance worker, knocked on Room 319′s door, announcing that he was there to fix the air conditioner. The ruse worked. As Martinez opened the door, the officers moved in, announcing that they were Austin police officers with a search warrant. Police then arrested and handcuffed Martinez. They found balloons of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. After waiving trial by jury, Martinez entered guilty pleas before the court to lesser-included offenses of those charged in the original indictments as a part of a plea bargain. The trial court convicted Martinez for three counts of possession of 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. The trial court assessed punishment in each case at eight years and six months of imprisonment. The sentences were to run concurrently. Martinez appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. HOLDING:Affirmed. The Fourth Amendment, the court stated, guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. It is an ancient common-law principle, the court stated, that law enforcement officers must announce their presence and provide residents with an opportunity to open the door. Police officers, the court stated, are not required to knock and announce their presence before entry if either: 1. a magistrate has authorized the “no knock” entry; or 2. the circumstances support a reasonable suspicion of exigency when the officers arrive at the door. Even if the state conceded a violation of the rule in Martinez’s case, the court found that the exclusionary rule would not apply. The court noted that the officers had a valid search warrant. Moreover, the court stated, the police did not violate the knock-and-announce rule. The knock-and-announce rule, the court stated, does not apply if officers gain entry to a house without using force, even if entry is accomplished by a ruse. When a suspect is persuaded to open the door to his or her residence, under false pretenses or otherwise, the government has not applied force to open it, the court elaborated. Deception does not infringe on any interest protected by the Fourth Amendment, the court stated. Therefore, the court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to suppress. OPINION:Onion, P.J.; Law, C.J., Pemberton, J., and Onion, P.J. (retired former presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals).

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