United States v. Larry Rederick, No. 22-1787 (8th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Defendant moved to suppress evidence from a traffic stop, claiming that the officers unconstitutionally delayed it to conduct a drug-dog search and that the dog’s alert did not provide probable cause to search. The district court denied most of the motion. A jury convicted Defendant for possession of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing meth. Defendant appealed the denial of the motion to suppress.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed. The court held that the Troopers here had reasonable suspicion before stopping Defendant, which existed throughout the stop. Only 27 minutes passed from the stop until the dog’s alert. This delay did not violate the Fourth Amendment because the Troopers acted diligently to pursue the mission of the stop: to assist with the investigation of Defendant’s drug-related activity. Further, the court held that based on the totality of the circumstances at the scene of the stop, the dog’s alert provided probable cause to search the vehicles.
Court Description: [Benton, Author, with Colloton and Kelly, Circuit Judges] Criminal case - Criminal law. Law enforcement officers had probable cause to conduct the traffic stop based on defendant's traffic offense and on the collective knowledge of the officers conducting the investigation into defendant's alleged drug dealing; the state troopers who conducted the stop did not illegally prolong the stop in order to conduct a drug-dog search; the dog's alert was sufficient to alert the trooper to a positive result and the record showed the dog was reliable; the alert gave the officers probable cause to search the defendant's vehicles.