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State of Idaho v. Jeffrey Eugene Thies

December 4, 2012

STATE OF IDAHO,
PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JEFFREY EUGENE THIES,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Cheri C. Copsey, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lansing, Judge

2012 Unpublished Opinion No. 753

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED OPINION AND SHALL NOT BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Order denying motion to suppress evidence, affirmed.

Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender; Erik R. Lehtinen,

Jeffrey Eugene Thies appeals from his criminal convictions of trafficking in methamphetamine, two counts of injury to a child, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and concealment of evidence. Thies asserts that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence. We affirm.

I.

BACKGROUND

On the evening of August 11, 2010, a driver made a 911 call to report that he had observed people fighting and yelling in another car while the car was at an intersection, that someone had thrown objects out of the car's window, striking his car, and that a teenaged passenger had jumped out, and then reentered the car. The reporting caller followed the car to a high school parking lot, and at least three law enforcement officers arrived at the school within a few minutes. When the first officer arrived, the two adult occupants from the car, Jeffrey Thies and Patricia Price, were standing in the parking lot, and the two teenaged passengers had already entered the school to attend a class.

The officers placed Thies and Price in handcuffs and began to question them separately. Price explained that she and Thies had been arguing, that she threw candy and a lighter out of the window during the argument, and that her son got out of the car to retrieve the lighter. Both Thies and Price told the officers that their argument did not involve physical violence. Officer Vogt ran a background check on Thies, discovered that his driving privileges had been suspended, and began to question him about driving on a suspended license. While doing so, Officer Vogt noticed that Thies appeared to become nervous when another officer began looking into the windows of Thies's car. Officer Vogt asked for Thies's consent to search the car, which was denied. Officer Vogt called for a narcotics detection unit, at which point Thies was placed in the backseat of Officer Vogt's patrol car. Officer Lindley subsequently arrived with a dog trained to detect the presence of narcotics. The dog alerted on the passenger door of Thies's car. Officers then searched the car and discovered marijuana, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia.

Thies was charged with numerous offenses including possession of marijuana, Idaho Code § 37-2732(c), possession of drug paraphernalia, I.C. § 37-2734A, and trafficking in methamphetamine, I.C. § 37-2732B(a)(4). Thies filed a motion to suppress the evidence found in his car on the ground that the officers unlawfully extended the duration of Thies's detention to allow time for a drug detection dog to arrive. The district court denied the suppression motion, and the case proceeded to a jury trial. Thies was ultimately convicted of multiple criminal offenses. He appeals, asserting that the district court erroneously denied his suppression motion.

II.

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