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United States v. Anguiano

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 3, 2015

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
Alberto Anguiano, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted April 17, 2015

Appeal from United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa - Des Moines.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Ashley Corkery, U.S. Attorney's Office, Davenport, IA; Clifford D. Wendel, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Des Moines, IA.

Alberto Anguiano, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Safford, AZ.

For Alberto Anguiano, Defendant - Appellant: James Samuel Nelsen, West Des Moines, IA.

Before BYE and SMITH, Circuit Judges, and SCHILTZ,[1] District Judge.


BYE, Circuit Judge.

Alberto Anguiano appeals the district court's[2] denial of his motion to suppress evidence found during the search of a vehicle in which Anguiano was a passenger. Anguiano argues (1) the traffic stop was unreasonably prolonged, and (2) the search of the vehicle went beyond the scope of consent provided by the driver. We affirm.


On May 7, 2013, Iowa State Patrol Trooper Aaron Taylor was traveling west on Interstate 80 in Dallas County, Iowa, when he observed a 2009 Nissan Rogue with very dark-tinted windows traveling at a speed higher than the posted speed limit. He initiated a traffic stop based on the vehicle's speed and tinted windows.

When he approached the vehicle, Taylor observed three men inside. The men were eventually identified as Juan Gomez (driver), Alberto Anguiano (front seat passenger), and Thomas Lee Boswell (rear seat passenger). Gomez provided Taylor a valid driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Anguiano provided Taylor with an alternate form of Nevada identification. Taylor immediately observed the front dash and center console appeared to be very shiny and clean while the rest of the car appeared messy and " lived in," with food and beverage trash and clothing strewn around the floor and backseat. After testing the window tint and discovering the tint level was in violation of Iowa law, Taylor asked Gomez to come to the patrol car with him.

At 9:01 a.m., Taylor opened his laptop and began to issue warnings to Gomez for the tint and speeding violations. As part of the process, Taylor asked Gomez several questions, such as where he was going and where he had come from. When asked about the identity of the passengers, Gomez explained Anguiano was his uncle but he was unsure about the backseat passenger; Gomez thought his name was " Tom," but did not know Tom's last name or anything about him. Gomez said Anguiano and Boswell had arrived at his house that morning and asked him to drive them to Minnesota. When asked who owned the vehicle, Gomez responded that his aunt Paula owned the vehicle, but he could not remember her last name, which Taylor found odd. During the conversation, Taylor observed Gomez to be " extremely nervous," breathing heavily with a rapid pulse, and not looking at Taylor when speaking.

Sometime between 9:08 and 9:11 a.m., Taylor ran a registration, license, and criminal history check on all three men. It took dispatch approximately fifteen minutes to respond. While he was waiting for the information, Taylor asked Anguiano to speak with him in the patrol car while Gomez waited outside. He asked Anguiano similar questions as Gomez. Anguiano said it was his " good friend . . . Mario's car but it was registered to the mom . . . Pamela." However, he could not give a last name for either Mario or Pamela, though he later told Taylor the registered owner was " Paolo." About fifteen minutes into the conversation, dispatch informed Taylor that there was an outstanding arrest warrant for Anguiano, that he was " known to be armed and dangerous," and that " extreme caution" should be used when taking him into custody. At that point, Taylor decided to wait for backup before arresting Anguiano. While waiting, Taylor continued to ask questions of Anguiano. Anguiano explained that he came to Nebraska from Las Vegas with someone named " Carlos," but he did not know anything about Carlos, such as why he was in Las Vegas. Anguiano further explained that the three men were heading to St. Paul to look for a truck which had been taken from Boswell by someone named " Cody Hopkins." Anguiano said they knew Hopkins liked to drink, so they planned to look for him in bars. They did not have an address or know where to find him. Like Gomez, Anguiano appeared " extremely nervous," had a high pulse, was breathing hard, and avoided eye contact. At approximately 9:29 a.m., another trooper arrived and placed Anguiano under arrest. The second trooper had other business to conduct, so at approximately 9:37 a.m., a third trooper arrived and Anguiano was transferred to that trooper's patrol car.

After Anguiano's arrest, Taylor spoke with Boswell. Boswell provided they were traveling to Minnesota, though he was not sure which city, to look for John Hopkins. When asked about the other passengers in the car, Boswell stated he believed the driver's name (Juan Gomez) was Alberto but did not know his last name. He also stated the other passenger was ...

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