United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
Pulido-Ayala, Defendant, represented by Anita L. Burns,
Federal Public Defender's Office.
Francisco Javier Sandoval-Herrera, Defendant, represented by
F.A. White, Jr..
Plaintiff, represented by Brent Venneman, United States
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY DEFENDANT'S
MOTION TO SUPPRESS
E. LARSEN, Magistrate Judge.
the court is Defendant's Motion to Suppress Evidence.
Defendant moves the Court to suppress all evidence obtained
from the October 8, 2015, traffic stop and all statements he
made during the stop on grounds of Fourth Amendment
violations. For the following reasons, Defendant's motion
should be denied.
indictment was returned on November 4, 2015, charging
Defendant with one count of aiding and abetting possession
with the intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21
U.S.C. Â§ 841(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. Â§ 2. On January 6, 2016,
Defendant filed a motion to suppress (Doc. No. 25). The
government responded on January 13, 2016 (Doc. No. 29). An
evidentiary hearing was held on April 20, 2016. The
government appeared by Assistant United States Attorney Brent
Venneman. Defendant was present, represented by appointed
counsel Anita Burns. The government called the following
witnesses: Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Robert Brooks
McGinnis; Lafayette County Sheriff's Department Detective
Donald K. Hammond; and Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Dan
Schubert. Defendant called Commercial Vehicle Inspector Brian
Sanders to testify. The following exhibits were admitted into
Government's Exhibit 1: Photograph of checkpoint signs;
Government's Exhibit 2: Map of I-70 at Route T;
Government's Exhibit 3: Dash cam video;
Government's Exhibit 4: 2014 canine certification;
Government's Exhibit 5: 2015 canine certification; and
Defendant's Exhibit 3: Trooper Schubert's electronic
basis of the evidence presented at the suppression hearing, I
submit the following findings of fact.
October 8, 2015, the Missouri Highway Patrol and Lafayette
County Drug Task Force set up a ruse checkpoint on I-70 (Tr.
at 4-5, 69). A ruse checkpoint is designed to identify
persons who may be transporting drugs (Tr. at 5, 69). As part
of the operation, law enforcement set up four road signs
along the interstate (Tr. at 6). Two of the signs read,
"DRUG CHECKPOINT Â¼ MILE AHEAD"; the other two read,
"K-9 IN USE PERRO DE DROGA" (Tr. at 6, 8; Gvt. Exh.
two signs that read "DRUG CHECKPOINT Â¼ MILE AHEAD"
were placed four or five seconds ahead of the exit ramp off
of the interstate onto T Highway, one in the median and the
other on the shoulder (Tr. at 6, 9-10). The two signs
referencing a drug dog were placed at the beginning of the
exit ramp (Tr. at 6-7, 9-10).
These signs were set up to be seen by vehicles traveling east
on I-70 (Tr. at 7). Law enforcement chose this exit because
there were no amenities for which drivers may be exiting (Tr.
Lafayette County Sheriff's Department Detective Donald
Hammond's assignment in the operation was to monitor the
interstate, exit ramps and roadways that cross over the
interstate (Tr. at 6). He was positioned at T Highway, just
south of I-70, were he could observe eastbound traffic (Tr.
at 7). Detective Hammond was approximately 400 feet from the
stop sign at the top of the exit ramp, and ...