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United States v. Demilia

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

October 29, 2014

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
Raymond Demilia; Jerome Derrick, Defendants - Appellees

Submitted September 10, 2014.

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Little Rock.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellant: Michael S. Gordon, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR.

For Raymond Demilia, Defendant - Appellee: William Owen James Jr., Little Rock, AR; Marjorie Elizabeth Rogers, Hilburn & Calhoon, North Little Rock, AR; Lee Deken Short, James Law Firm, Little Rock, AR.

For Jerome Derrick, Defendant - Appellee: David R. Cannon, The Cannon Law Firm, North Little Rock, AR; Lee Deken Short, James Law Firm, Little Rock, AR.

Before WOLLMAN, LOKEN, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1052

WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge.

Raymond Demilia and Jerome Derrick were each indicted on one count of knowingly and intentionally possessing with intent to distribute marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841. The district court granted Demilia and Derrick's motions to suppress evidence seized during a search of a vehicle. The government appeals. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

I. Background

On July 17, 2012, officer Victor Coleman of the Arkansas State Police was working highway patrol on Interstate 40 when he saw a recreational vehicle (RV) go off the right side of the road and cross over the fog line and onto the shoulder. Coleman heard the tires hit the " rumble strip" when the RV crossed over the line. Coleman testified that he then saw the RV cross over the fog line a second time. After following the RV for a few miles, he turned on the blue lights in his patrol car, which activated the patrol car's camera. Coleman

Page 1053

testified that after he activated his blue lights, the RV crossed the fog line a third time. When the driver of the RV did not respond to the blue lights, Coleman moved toward the left lane and activated his siren. The RV then pulled over to the right shoulder of the highway.

Demilia was driving the RV, and Derrick was a passenger in the front seat. Coleman requested Demilia's license, registration, and insurance information. Coleman then asked Demilia to come to the police vehicle, where he was questioned about the purpose of his trip. In response to questioning, Demilia indicated that he owned the motor home and that he was coming from Colorado. After noting that Demilia seemed anxious and nervous, Coleman asked him whether there was anything illegal in the vehicle, to which Demilia responded that there was not. Coleman then twice asked if he could check or look at the vehicle to make sure everything was okay. Demilia ...


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