United States v. Johnson, No. 15-30222 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit reversed the denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence found on his person and in the car he was driving. The panel held that defendant failed to show that the officers' decision to pull him over and to impound his car would have occurred in the absence of an impermissible reason. However, the panel held, in light of United States v. Orozco, 858 F.3d 1204 (9th Cir. 2017), that the officers' search and seizure of items from defendant's car could not be justified under the inventory-search doctrine where officers explicitly admitted that they seized items from the car to search for evidence of criminal activity. In this case, the government did not offer any justification for the seizure of the property other than the inventory-search doctrine, and thus the district court erred in denying the motion to suppress.