Submitted: July 15, 2019
from United States District Court for the District of
Minnesota - St. Paul
LOKEN, COLLOTON, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.
Colloton, Circuit Judge.
Rodolfo Anguiano, Jr., was indicted on drug charges, he moved
to suppress evidence on the ground that his arrest and
subsequent searches of his hotel room and vehicle violated
his rights under the Fourth Amendment. The district
court granted the motion in part, but ruled that
some methamphetamine seized during the searches was
admissible. Anguiano entered a conditional guilty plea,
reserving the right to appeal the denial of his motion to
suppress. Considering that appeal, we affirm.
investigation began when police officer Jacob Gruber noticed
a red Volkswagen Jetta pull into a Days Inn parking lot in
Bloomington, Minnesota. He ran a check on the car's
California license plates and discovered that the
vehicle's registration had expired. Gruber followed the
car when it left the hotel and conducted a traffic stop when
the driver committed a lane violation.
approached the vehicle and saw Anguiano sitting in the
driver's seat. He noticed an "overwhelming odor of
air fresheners" and saw "dryer sheets all over the
floor in the back and the front" of the car. He
perceived the dryer sheets to be "an indicator of
possible drug activity," because "[t]hey are
commonly used to cover up the odor of large amounts of
suspicions were heightened after he spoke with the driver.
Anguiano said that he had been in the area for three days for
a cousin's wedding, but did not know the wedding's
location; he had switched from one hotel to another during
his brief stay; and he said that the car was already in
Minnesota before he arrived because his cousin had driven it
from California. Gruber knew from his training that drug
traffickers often "pay somebody to drive their load car
to a location and then . . . fly there and retake
possession." Gruber checked Anguiano's criminal
history and found prior arrests for "alien smuggling,
controlled substance and . . . possession of pills," but
when he asked Anguiano about prior arrests, Anguiano replied
that he had "never been in trouble for drugs."
declined to provide consent to search his vehicle, so Gruber
had another officer lead a drug-sniffing dog around the
exterior. Although the animal was "interested" in
the undercarriage of the vehicle, the dog did not alert.
Gruber decided that there was insufficient evidence to make
an arrest, so he returned Anguiano's license to him. When
Anguiano put his license in his wallet, Gruber saw that
Anguiano possessed multiple credit cards and a badge bearing
the acronym for the Drug Enforcement Administration. At that
point, Gruber believed he had probable cause to arrest
Anguiano for fraudulent financial transactions and placed him
the arrest, officers traveled to the hotel where Anguiano
said he was staying and knocked on the door of the room
registered to him. Zyaira Gavino answered the door and
permitted the officers to enter. Once inside, officers saw
Kelvin Baez sitting on the living room couch and noticed a
methamphetamine pipe on a table beside him. Gavino told the
officers that she and Baez had stayed at the hotel for a few
days with a friend whom they knew only as "Bebe."
gave the officers consent to search the hotel room, as well
as a suitcase, backpack, and some shopping bags in the room.
In the backpack, Gruber found an owner's manual to a
Chevy Equinox; he believed that the manual was consistent
with a set of car keys that he saw on the living room couch.
officers entered the back bedroom and saw a padlocked
armoire. They observed a cellular telephone that was
positioned to make a video recording of the armoire and
activity around it. They also saw pound-size packaging
materials in an open-top garbage can. Gruber asked Baez where
any narcotics in the room would be located, and Baez
responded, "in the armoire, obviously."
brought a drug-sniffing dog to the room, and the dog alerted
at the locked armoire and a dresser in the back bedroom. The
dog also alerted at a Chevy Equinox in the hotel parking lot.
Gruber then searched the bathroom, "popped off" a
panel from a bathroom sink vanity, and found methamphetamine.
The officers arrested Gavino and Baez, secured the scene, and
sought a warrant to search the hotel room and Chevy Equinox.
After obtaining ...