from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Cheryl E.
Traum, District Associate Judge.
defendant appeals his conviction for third-offense possession
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal) and
Shellie L. Knipfer, Assistant Appellate Defender, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., Tabor, J., and Vogel, S.J.
Davenport police officer mistakenly arrested Troy Ford based
on an outstanding warrant for a different individual. Ford
argues the search incident to that invalid arrest was
unreasonable and the district court should have suppressed
the marijuana found. Because the officer did not act
reasonably in searching Ford before verifying his identity as
the person named in the warrant, we reverse the suppression
ruling and remand for further proceedings consistent with
Facts and Prior Proceedings
police officers Ryan Leabo and Angela Jarrin responded to a
domestic disturbance just after 10:00 p.m. in late January
2018, according to the minutes of testimony. The dispatch
reported "a black male had been assaulting a white
female on the porch." When the officers arrived, they
could hear arguing inside the house.
six people inside, the officers separated to speak with
different factions. The residents asked Officer Jarrin to
remove a female guest. That guest told the officer the
disturbance at the house was "only a verbal
argument." Meanwhile, Officer Leabo asked resident Troy
Ford to come outside so he "could interview him about
the incident." Officer Leabo wrote the following in his
case report narrative:
I gathered Troy's information and ran a standard wanted
check on Troy. Dispatch informed me he had multiple warrants.
I asked dispatch if the warrants were valid. Dispatch
informed me they were. I placed Troy in properly spaced and
double locked handcuffs. Troy stated he did not believe the
warrants were valid and he had been mixed up with another
Troy Ford before.
I walked Troy back to my squad car. A search incident to
arrest revealed 2.10 grams of marijuana (confirmed with a
Valtox test) in the defendant's right pocket. I initially
was not sure if the narcotics was marijuana due to the fact
it was finely ground. Troy excitedly uttered it was marijuana
when I asked him if it was heroin.
Dispatch asked me to confirm Troy's information. I
gathered Troy's social security number and included that
with his name and date of birth. Dispatch informed me they
thought I had a different Troy Ford and the person I had was
State charged Ford with possession of marijuana, third or
subsequent offense. See Iowa Code § 124.401(5)
(2018). Ford moved to suppress the marijuana, alleging the
search violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the
United States Constitution and Article I, Section 8 of the
Iowa Constitution. The parties stipulated to the facts
asserted in the defense motion and the State's
resistance, presenting no evidence at the suppression
hearing. The district court denied the motion to suppress.
that denial of his motion to suppress, Ford waived his right
to a jury and agreed to a bench trial on the minutes of
testimony. The court found Ford guilty as charged. Ford now
appeals. He raises two claims: (1) the district court erred
in denying his motion to suppress and (2) the court erred by
not conducting a full hearing to determine whether his
stipulation to the prior drug offenses was ...