United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division
SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT AND ECOMMENDATION TO DENY
EFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS
Williams Chief United States Magistrate Judge
matter before the Court is defendant's Supplemental
Motion to Suppress evidence and statements allegedly obtained
in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States
Constitution. (Doc. 53). The grand jury charged defendant in
a one-count indictment with Possession with Intent to
Distribute Methamphetamine in violation of Title 21, United
States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 851. (Doc.
2). The charge arose from evidence found during a traffic
stop of the vehicle defendant was driving on February 10,
2017. (Doc. 20).
24, 2017, defendant filed his initial motion to suppress,
arguing that the officer who conducted the search, Dubuque
County Deputy Daniel Kearney, did not have probable cause or
reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle. (Doc. 20-1).
Defendant did not challenge any events that occurred
subsequent to the actual stop of the vehicle, including the
validity of the canine search at issue here. (Doc. 34). I
filed a report and recommendation to deny defendant's
motion on August 8, 2017. (Id.). I concluded that
Deputy Kearney had probable cause to believe that defendant
was speeding and therefore, had authority to stop the
vehicle. (Id.). In addition, I determined that the
stop was justified because, based on a tip from a
confidential informant, Deputy Kearney had reasonable
suspicion to believe criminal activity was afoot.
filed a timely objection to the report and recommendation on
September 27, 2017. (Doc. 49). That same day, defendant moved
to resubmit his motion to suppress and requested that the
Court allow him to plead an additional substantive violation
of the Fourth Amendment. (Doc. 48). Defendant argued that
Deputy Kearney violated the Supreme Court's holding in
Rodriguez v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 1609 (2015),
by delaying the traffic stop to conduct a canine search.
United States resisted defendant's motion to resubmit
(Doc. 50) and his amended motion to suppress. (Doc. 52). The
United States argued that “(1) Rodriguez is
inapposite because officers had reasonable suspicion of
ongoing drug activity; and (2) even under Rodriguez,
the time between the stop and the beginning of the dog sniff
did not constitute an impermissible extension of the
stop.” (Doc. 52-1).
October 13, 2017, defendant filed a supplemental motion to
suppress (Doc. 53) and brief in support of his motion. (Doc.
53-1). A hearing on defendant's motion was held that same
day. For the reasons that follow, I respectfully recommend
that the Court deny defendant's supplemental motion to
Court adopts the factual findings set forth in its Report and
Recommendation to Deny Defendant's Motion to Suppress.
(Doc. 34). In addition, the Court finds the following facts
are relevant to its current analysis.
February 10, 2017, at approximately 12:50 p.m., Deputy
Kearney stopped the vehicle driven by defendant in Dubuque
County, Iowa. Deputy Kearney is the Dubuque County Sheriff
canine officer and at the time of the stop, he had a canine
in his patrol car with him. At 12:51 p.m., Deputy Kearney
spoke with the driver about the speeding violation, obtained
defendant's driver's license in relation to that
mission, and returned to the patrol car. At 12:52 p.m.,
Deputy Kearney discussed conducting a canine search with
Investigator Adam Williams, who was also present at the scene
to advance the drug investigation. At approximately 12:52:54
p.m., Deputy Kearney removed the canine from the patrol car
and had the canine conduct a sniff search of the
vehicle's exterior. The canine hit on the vehicle at
approximately 12:53:17 p.m. Deputy Kearney placed the dog
back in the patrol car at approximately 12:53:55 p.m.
12:55 p.m., Deputy Kearney instructed defendant to exit the
vehicle, patted defendant down, and placed him in the patrol
car. At 12:58 p.m., Deputy Kearney continued to process the
traffic violation, advising defendant that he would issue him
a warning rather than a traffic citation. Deputy Kearney then
proceeded to write defendant a warning ticket while
Investigator Williams physically searched the bed of the
pickup truck. Investigator Williams located methamphetamine
inside a PCV pipe that was lying in the bed of the pickup
truck at 1:03 p.m.
p.m., Investigator Williams read defendant his Miranda rights
and began to question him. Defendant initially denied
knowledge of the drugs, but later made several incriminating
preliminary matter, the Court notes that it continues to
recommend the adoption of its prior determination that Deputy
Kearney had sufficient reasonable suspicion of ongoing drug
activity to stop defendant. If Deputy Kearney had reasonable
suspicion, the seizure of defendant while Deputy Kearney
conducted a canine sniff search was constitutional.
Rodriguez, 135 S.Ct. at 1615. However, because
defendant's objection to the Court's prior report and
recommendation remains pending, the Court will analyze
defendant's supplemental suppression argument as if the
officers did not have reasonable suspicion of criminal
activity. The issue is therefore, whether, under
Rodriguez, Deputy Kearney's use of the canine to
search the exterior of the vehicle during a traffic stop for
speeding, violates the Fourth Amendment of the United States