Submitted: November 16, 2017
from United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri - Jefferson City.
COLLOTON and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges, and READE,  District
COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.
Edwards was convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin and
possession with intent to distribute heroin. The district
court denied Edwards's pre-trial motion to
suppress evidence seized during a traffic stop and statements
made to officers after his arrest. We conclude that law
enforcement officers did not violate the Fourth Amendment, so
there was no basis to exclude the disputed evidence, and we
therefore affirm the judgment.
investigation and prosecution of Edwards arose from
communications to police by a confidential informant on June
10, 2015. The informant, who previously had provided reliable
information, contacted Detective Timothy Giger from the
Columbia Police Department to report that Edwards was
involved in drug trafficking. The informant told Giger that
Edwards would be driving that day from Columbia to Jefferson
City to provide money to a woman named "Tasha" and
to obtain heroin for transport back to Columbia.
and other officers followed Edwards's silver Pontiac
Bonneville from a hotel in Columbia to a house in Jefferson
City owned by Natasha Terrell. Edwards entered the home and
remained for thirty to forty-five minutes before driving back
to Columbia. That evening, Jefferson City police searched the
trash outside Natasha Terrell's residence and discovered
drug paraphernalia consistent with drug trafficking. Based on
the totality of the evidence, Detective Greg Bestgen of
Jefferson City obtained a search warrant for the home, but
did not execute it immediately.
later, the same informant notified Detective Giger that
Edwards again planned to travel to "Tasha's"
house that day to obtain heroin. As before, Giger and other
officers followed Edwards from Columbia to Natasha
Terrell's house. Edwards went inside the house and then
drove away. Once he left, Detective Bestgen and other
officers executed the search warrant; they found heroin,
crack cocaine, pills of an unknown nature, and approximately
$7, 000 in cash. A second confidential informant, who was
present in the home during the search, informed Bestgen that
Edwards had left with approximately twenty grams of heroin.
officers searched Natasha Terrell's home, Officer Paul
Gash of Jefferson City conducted a traffic stop of
Edwards's vehicle after learning from Detective Giger
that Edwards was believed to have completed a drug
transaction. Giger instructed Gash to arrest Edwards, so Gash
placed Edwards in custody in the back of a police car. After
Edwards declined to consent to a search of his vehicle, Gash
ran his canine around the Bonneville's exterior, but the
dog did not alert to the presence of drugs.
next contacted Detective Bestgen, who stated that there was
probable cause to search the vehicle. Gash then searched the
Bonneville and discovered four bags of heroin behind the
instrument panel of the car. In an interview, after receiving
the warnings prescribed by Miranda v. Arizona, 384
U.S. 436 (1966), Edwards admitted his involvement in drug
trafficking. Thereafter, a grand jury charged Edwards with
conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession with intent to
distribute heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846
and 841(a)(1), respectively.
trial, Edwards moved to suppress his incriminating statements
and the heroin seized from his vehicle, but the district
court denied the motion, and the case proceeded to trial. A
jury found Edwards guilty on both charges, and the district
court sentenced him to 156 months' imprisonment.
appeal, Edwards challenges the district court's denial of
his motion to suppress. He contends that police lacked
probable cause to arrest him, and that his statements should
have been suppressed as the fruit of an unlawful arrest. He
also argues that police searched his vehicle without probable