United States v. Tiru-Plaza, No. 13-1888 (1st Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Officers from the Puerto Rico Police Department stopped a vehicle in which Defendant was a passenger for a traffic infraction. Suspecting that the car may have been stolen, the officers asked the driver to exit the vehicle and open the hood for purposes of inspecting the vehicle identification number on the car’s engine. The driver’s resulting movement revealed a gun tucked into his waistband. Thereafter, the officers ordered Defendant to exit the vehicle and submit to a pat-frisk, which revealed a firearm hidden in Defendant’s waistband. Defendant was subsequently indicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Defendant filed a motion to suppress the firearm evidence as the fruit of an illegal search. The district court denied the motion to suppress. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the officers had an objectively reasonable basis to frisk Defendant.