from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, James C.
appeals his convictions for possession of a controlled
substance with intent to deliver, failure to affix a drug tax
stamp, and driving while barred. AFFIRMED.
Aron Vaughn of Kaplan & Frese, LLP, Marshalltown, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.
Gentry Jr. appeals his convictions for possession of a
controlled substance with intent to deliver, failure to affix
a drug tax stamp, and driving while barred. We conclude an
officer's observations, both by visual estimation and
pacing, support a rational inference Gentry was exceeding the
speed limit, providing the officer probable cause to stop the
vehicle. We affirm the district court's decision denying
Gentry's motion to suppress.
Background Facts & Proceedings
2, 2017, at about 2:00 a.m., Officer Jacob Fogt of the
Marshalltown Police Department was on patrol when he noticed
a red Toyota Camry in a moderate-to-high crime area. He
decided to follow the vehicle, which was the only one on the
road at the time. The car made several turns. Officer Fogt
stated, "[I]t seemed like they were just attempting to
get away from me with all of the unnecessary turns."
North Fourth Avenue, Officer Fogt estimated the Camry was
traveling at thirty miles per hour in a twenty-five miles per
hour zone. He attempted to determine the speed of the vehicle
by keeping a consistent distance behind it, and saw his
speedometer and GPS system both showed he was going
thirty-three miles per hour. He checked the speed of the
Camry in this manner for approximately three to five seconds.
Fogt stopped the Camry for speeding. The driver of the
vehicle was Gentry. Officer Fogt determined Gentry was barred
from driving as a habitual offender. When Gentry got out of
the vehicle at Officer Fogt's request, Gentry ran away.
He was swiftly apprehended by officers. Gentry had a small
baggie containing a white powdery substance in his right
front pocket. Also, officers found a larger bag containing a
white powdery substance on the ground where Gentry was
apprehended. The substance in the bags was later determined
to be 36.55 grams of cocaine. Additionally, Gentry had $680
in cash and two cell phones.
was charged with possession of a controlled substance with
intent to deliver, in violation of Iowa Code section
124.401(1)(c)(2)(b) (2017), a class "C" felony;
failure to affix a drug tax stamp, in violation of section
453B.12, a class "D" felony; and driving while
barred, in violation of section 321.561, an aggravated
filed a motion to suppress, claiming the stop of his vehicle
was unconstitutional. At the suppression hearing, Officer
Fogt testified he had training on making visual observations
of vehicle speeds but no official training on pacing vehicles
to determine speed. The district court denied the motion to
Officer Fogt testified to the speed limit, 25 miles per hour;
he testified to his own visual estimate of the speed, 30
miles per hour; and he testified to the estimate he made as
he followed the Camry, 33 miles per hour. The court is not
willing to characterize what Officer Fogt did as
"pacing" the Camry, but he was in ...