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State v. Armstrong

Court of Appeals of Idaho

February 12, 2015

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
DUSTIN THOMAS ARMSTRONG, Defendant-Appellant

2015 Opinion No. 6

Editorial Note:

This decision is not final until exception of the 21 day petition for rehearing period. Pursuant to rule 118 of the Idaho Appellate Rules.

Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Melissa Moody, District Judge.

Judgment of conviction for grand theft, affirmed.

Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant. Maya P. Waldron, Deputy Public Defender, argued.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; John C. McKinney, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. John C. McKinney argued.

SCHROEDER, Judge. Judge GUTIERREZ and Judge GRATTON, CONCUR.

OPINION

SCHROEDER, Judge Pro Tem

Dustin Thomas Armstrong appeals from his judgment of conviction for grand theft. He argues that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence obtained from a warrantless search of his vehicle executed by police officers at the request and direction of Armstrong's parole officer. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

Armstrong was released on parole in 2012 following a period of incarceration resulting from his conviction for possession of a controlled substance and issuing a check without funds. As a condition of parole, Armstrong agreed that he would " submit to a search of person or property, to include residence and vehicle, at any time and place by any agent of Field and Community Services and s/he does waive constitutional right to be free from such searches." [1]

Armstrong's mother called police to report that Armstrong was in her home, possibly under the influence, and acting in a way that made her fear for her safety. An officer was dispatched to respond to the call. While en route, the officer called the Bureau of Probation and Parole hotline and was informed by the on-call parole officer that Armstrong was on parole. As the officer neared the mother's home, the officer observed Armstrong leaving the area in his vehicle. The officer briefly lost sight of Armstrong's vehicle, but later located it in a credit union parking lot. Other officers went into the credit union and asked to speak with Armstrong outside. Meanwhile, the responding officer again spoke with the on-call parole officer, who stated that, as a condition of parole, Armstrong had signed a Fourth Amendment waiver allowing search of his person and property, including his home and vehicle. Pursuant to that waiver, the parole officer requested that the police officer search Armstrong's vehicle. A drug dog was called in and performed an exterior sniff of the vehicle, with no alerts. The dog then searched ...


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