from the Iowa District Court for Bremer County, Peter B.
Newell, District Associate Judge.
defendant appeals his conviction for possession of a
controlled substance, third offense.
P. Frerichs of Frerichs Law Office, P.C., Waterloo, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kelli A. Huser, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
DeGroot appeals his conviction for possession of a controlled
substance, third offense, in violation of Iowa Code section
124.401(5) (2014), claiming the district court erred in
denying his motion to suppress. First of all, DeGroot cannot
assert another person's constitutional rights. Further,
because DeGroot was not in custody when he admitted he had
marijuana and he voluntarily turned over the drugs to the
police, we find no error in the district court's denial
of the motion and affirm DeGroot's conviction.
Background Facts and Proceedings
November 25, 2014, Tripoli Police Chief Daniel Banks set up a
drug buy with a juvenile. Chief Banks learned from the
juvenile that T.D., DeGroot's stepson, would be able to
get marijuana from his parents and sell it to the juvenile.
Just before the buy, the chief parked his unmarked vehicle
where he observed T.D. take something out of his backpack and
put it in his pocket. After approximately thirty seconds, the
chief exited his vehicle and approached the two boys. There,
he observed a small plastic bag containing a green leafy
substance hanging halfway out of T.D.'s pocket. He told
T.D. to hand over the bag. T.D. indicated his parents did not
know he took the marijuana from their house, it was his
father's marijuana, and there was more at home.
chief advised T.D. he needed to escort him to city hall and
contact his parents. The chief did not read T.D. his
Miranda rights and drove him the short distance to
city hall. While the chief was escorting T.D. inside, DeGroot
and his wife drove by and saw their son being escorted into
city hall. They stopped and entered the building. The chief
placed T.D. in his office and took DeGroot and his wife into
the nearby city council meeting room to explain the
situation. The chief explained that T.D. was caught
attempting to sell marijuana and T.D. had told the chief the
marijuana belonged to DeGroot. DeGroot responded with
initially denied there was more marijuana at his home, but
after the chief explained he would either get a search
warrant or DeGroot could voluntarily handover the marijuana,
DeGroot agreed to voluntarily hand it over. DeGroot then
accompanied the chief in the front seat of his patrol car to
DeGroot's home, which was outside the city limits of
Tripoli. During the ride, DeGroot requested he not be charged
with possession as it would be his third possession charge,
and the chief advised DeGroot that he would not charge
DeGroot. When they arrived at the home, DeGroot retrieved the
marijuana and turned it over to the chief. After the chief
took possession of the marijuana he informed the Bremer
County Sheriff's Department of the situation.
sheriff decided to pursue the issue, and DeGroot was then
charged with possession of a controlled substance, third or
subsequent offense. DeGroot filed a motion to suppress
evidence obtained from his statements, his stepson's
statements, and stemming from an illegal search of his home.
The district court denied DeGroot's motion. After a trial
on the minutes of evidence, the district court found DeGroot
guilty and sentenced him to 180 days in jail with all but
four days suspended.
Scope and ...