Unpublished Disposition, 874 F.2d 817 (9th Cir. 1987)Annotate this Case
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,v.Jeffrey Tye BROWN, Defendant-Appellant.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Submitted* March 28, 1989.Decided May 2, 1989.
Before SNEED, FLETCHER and DAVID R. THOMPSON, Circuit Judges.
Brown, pursuant to a plea agreement, entered a guilty plea to a charge of knowing and intentional possession with intent to distribute one kilogram of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) (1) (1982), subject to a right to appeal the district court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence. That appeal is before us and we affirm the district court's refusal to suppress.
The basic issue before us is whether there was reasonable and articulable suspicion to subject Brown's luggage to a canine sniff at the Honolulu Airport on December 3, 1987. If such suspicion existed, the alert of the dog provided the probable cause to search Brown's luggage.
On December 3, 1987, the DEA in San Diego received an anonymous tip that stated a Jeffrey Brown was flying to Hawaii with a kilo of cocaine in his luggage. A description, including the manner in which he was dressed, was also given. The informant stated that Brown had a brother in Hawaii with whom he frequently visited and that he would arrive at the San Diego National Airport in a Hertz rental car. An agent of DEA verified through a Hertz employee that Brown did check in a Hertz rental car at 12:20 p.m. on December 3, 1987. All of this information was given to DEA agents in Honolulu.
On that same evening DEA agents in the Honolulu Airport encountered an individual matching the description given by the informer. After this individual picked up his luggage, he was stopped, and asked to show his driver's license which bore the name Jeffrey Brown. Then he was asked where he was staying in Honolulu and he replied that he was staying with his brother.
The agents then told him that his bags were to be detained and subjected to a canine sniff. The dog alerted and Brown was arrested.
The requirements of United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696 (1983), were met. A person may be stopped briefly and his baggage subjected to a canine sniff if the authorities have reasonable suspicion based on specific articulable facts that the luggage contains narcotics. See id. at 706; United States v. Erwin, 803 F.2d 1505, 1509 (9th Cir. 1986). The anonymous tip required independent corroboration which, as outlined above, in this case clearly existed. See United States v. Angulo-Lopez, 791 F.2d 1394, at 1397 (9th Cir. 1986). This corroboration established the reliability of the informer's report and, after the verification of Brown's name and the fact that he planned to stay with his brother, amply provided the specific articulable facts for reasonable suspicion that Brown's luggage contained cocaine.