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United States v. Hudson

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

March 16, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CURTIS J. HUDSON, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE

ROBERT E. LARSEN, Magistrate Judge.

Before the court is defendant's motion to suppress evidence on the ground that police had no legal basis to search defendant's vehicle without a warrant. I find that the stop of the vehicle was proper because defendant had invalid temporary tags and the search of the vehicle was based on probable cause to believe marijuana was located inside the vehicle. Therefore, defendant's motion to suppress should be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

On September 24, 2014, defendant was pulled over for having invalid temporary tags on his vehicle. When he rolled down his window, the officer detected the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Defendant was removed from the vehicle and two firearms were observed. Those weapons were recovered, and inside a computer bag on the back seat officers found three bags of marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, a digital scale and sandwich bags. Defendant was arrested, and the following day a criminal complaint was filed charging him with possessing firearms after having been convicted of a felony.

On October 7, 2014, an indictment was returned charging defendant with two counts of possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony. Defendant filed the instant motion to suppress on February 18, 2015. On February 23, 2015, the government filed a response, arguing that because police had probable cause to believe that evidence of a drug crime would be found in defendant's car, no search warrant was necessary.

On March 9, 2015, I held an evidentiary hearing on defendant's motion to suppress. The government appeared by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Marquez. The defendant was present, represented by Willis Toney. The following witnesses testified:

1. Officer Brandon Bray, Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department
2. Officer Chad Pfaff, Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department

In addition, the following exhibits were admitted:

P. Ex. 1 Photograph of Tahoe with temporary tag

P. Ex. 3 Photograph of floor of car and butt of gun

P. Ex. 4 Photograph of gun with strap

P. Ex. 5 Photograph of black bag in back seat

P. Ex. 6 Photograph of three baggies and a box

P. Ex. 7 Photograph of four baggies, gun, clip ...


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