United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
Michael R. Barrett United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Suppress (Doc. 13); the Government's Response in
Opposition (Doc. 18); and the Government's Supplemental
Exhibit (Doc. 24). A hearing was conducted before the
undersigned on December 8, 2016.
6, 2016, Defendant was a passenger in his sister's silver
Toyota Camry. Forest Park Police Officer Trevor Jacob, a
10-year veteran of the Department, was on patrol that day,
leaving a gas station when he observed the subject motor
vehicle drive by him. Officer Jacob testified that when he
routinely pulled out behind the vehicle, the male passenger
engaged in furtive movement that caught his attention.
Officer Jacob explained that the passenger was looking at him
in his rearview and side mirrors and made a gesture
consistent, based upon his training and experience, with
concealment of contraband. As a result of his observations,
he continued to follow the vehicle and ran a computer inquiry
of the license plate. He testified that the license plate
inquiry returned an open warrant for Defendant who was
associated with the motor vehicle. Based upon that
information, he pulled over the vehicle for further
attaches to his motion a printout of the Regional Crime
Information Center report, which was included in the
discovery materials provided by the Government (See
Doc. 16, PageID 50; Ex. 4). The report shows that Defendant
was “not wanted, ” or in other words, there was
no open warrant. The Government explains that this particular
report was printed on September 20, 2016, months after
Defendant was arrested and processed. Likewise, a document
produced by the Government at the hearing showed no open
warrants as to Defendant (Ex. 6). This report was run two
days after the incident. Based upon this seemingly
contradictory documentation, Defendant contends that on the
date of the arrest, there was no open warrant for him.
contends there are two primary questions: 1) whether there
was an open warrant for Defendant; and 2) if there was a
warrant, did Officer Jacob have a reasonable suspicion to
believe Defendant was in the vehicle on the date in question.
the hearing, the Court left the record open for one week for
any additional submissions by the parties. On December 12,
2016, the Government filed a supplemental exhibit, which
shows that at the time of the traffic stop there was an
active warrant for Defendant's arrest. (Doc. 24-1). This
evidence corroborates the testimony of Officer Jacob.
Defendant asserts the evidence recovered from him must be
suppressed because the officer was not aware that Defendant
was a passenger at the time of the stop. Similarly, Defendant
argues that a “link” to the car was not probable
cause to believe the Defendant was a passenger.
question of whether a particular traffic stop passes
constitutional muster is analyzed under the standard for
temporary detentions set forth in Terry v. Ohio, 392
U.S.1, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968), and its
progeny.” United States v. Winters, 782 F.3d
289, 295 (6th Cir. 2015) (internal citations omitted).
“Under this framework, the stop must be 1)
‘justified at its inception'; and 2)
‘reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which
justified the interference in the first place.'”
Id., citing Terry, 392 U.S. at 20, 88 S.Ct.
evidence at the hearing included the testimony of Officer
Trevor Jacob; Exhibit 1 - the RCIC printout associated with
the vehicle; Exhibit 2 - the Forest Park Police Department
Arrest and Investigation Report with tickets attached
(Exhibits 3, 4 and 5); and Exhibit 6 - the RCIC Report linked
to the license plate. This evidence was supplemented as
urges the Court to follow United States v. Hudson,
405 F.3d 425 (6th Cir. 2005) to suppress the
evidence. In that case, Hudson's connection to the motor
vehicle was provided by an anonymous tipster with no other
link to the car. In the instant case, the RCIC printout
linked Defendant and the open warrant to the car. The same
car had been previously operated by Defendant. (See
Ex. 5). Based upon the open warrant associated with the
vehicle, Officer Jacob pulled it over for further
upon approaching the passenger side door, he observed
Defendant, and recognized him from a prior encounter. Based
upon the active warrants, he asked Defendant to step out of
the car to place him under arrest on the open warrant.
Officer Jacob searched Defendant before placing him in the
police cruiser. He found two .45 caliber bullets in
Defendant's pockets. Defendant denied having a weapon in
the car. Once Defendant was in the back of the police
cruiser, Officer Jacob conducted a search of the passenger
seat of the vehicle where he had observed Defendant lean
forward, as if to conceal something under the seat. There,
under the seat, he found a loaded .45 caliber handgun.
short, Officer Jacob observed suspicious activity causing him
to run the license plate query. The query linked the
Defendant to the subject vehicle and indicated there was an
open warrant for his arrest. While approaching the stopped
vehicle, the officer recognized the Defendant as the subject
of the warrant thus justifying his removal from the car.
upon all of the foregoing, Defendant's Motion to ...