United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill Chief Judge
Martindale is charged with three counts of criminal activity:
(1) Count One alleges that he possessed a sawed-off shotgun;
(2) Count Two alleges that he possessed firearms despite
being a drug user; and (3) Count Three alleges that he
possessed methamphetamine and heroin. All three charges stem
from a search of an automobile he was driving - the search
turned up the firearms, illegal drugs, and various other
items indicative of drug distribution.
has moved to suppress the firearms and heroin on the ground
that the search of the car violated his Fourth Amendment
rights. The Court heard testimony on August 11, 2016, and
took the matter under advisement. For the reasons expressed
below, the Court will deny the motion to suppress.
19, 2015, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Foster
had a felony arrest warrant for Brook Black, who was believed
to be driving a grey Dodge truck. Over his radio, Lt. Foster
heard dispatch call Deputy Hillier to a residence at 1880 S.
Falcon Drive in Ammon, Idaho to serve an arrest warrant on
defendant Michael Martindale. Dispatch said that Martindale
might be driving a grey, 1997 Dodge Dakota pickup truck, the
same truck Lt. Foster was looking for. Because Lt. Foster and
Deputy Hillier were both in the vicinity of 1880 S. Falcon
Dr., they decided to stake out the residence together.
parked in different locations and watched the residence
hoping to catch either Black or Martindale. Deputy Hillier
was located near the intersection of 17th Street and Falcon.
Eventually, Lt. Foster observed two males exit the residence
at 1880 S. Falcon and get into the Dodge truck. One male had
carried a black bag from the house and placed it into the
back of the truck before getting into the driver’s
the driver was subsequently identified as Martindale, Lt.
Foster was unable to identify the driver from his vantage
point. Lt. Foster advised Deputy Hillier of what he observed.
Martindale drove the Dodge pickup north on Falcon towards
17th Street, where Deputy Hillier was located.
Martindale was waiting at the intersection in traffic, his
window was down, and Deputy Hillier was able to get a good
look at him. Using Martindale’s driver’s license
photograph, Deputy Hillier positively identified Martindale
as the driver of the Dodge truck. When Martindale turned west
on 17th, Deputy Hillier pulled out onto the road behind him.
immediately moved into the turn lane and pulled into the
parking lot of a gas station connected to a supermarket.
Deputy Hillier activated his overhead lights and stopped
Martindale in the gas station parking lot.
Hillier approached the driver’s door and immediately
had Martindale exit the vehicle. He advised Martindale that
he was under arrest for driving with a suspended license and
advised him of the three warrants for his arrest. Martindale
admitted he did not have a driver’s license and that he
had warrants for his arrest. Deputy Hillier secured
Martindale in his patrol car.
passenger did not have any identification. Deputy Hillier
called for a tow company to respond for the truck and began a
vehicle inventory. In the bed of the truck, Deputy Hillier
located a black bag containing a sawed off shotgun and two
kinds of ammunition. Also in the bag were gloves, an empty
holster, and a hunting knife. Inside the driver’s door,
Deputy Hillier located controlled substances and other
material that appeared to be related to drug trafficking.
Deputy Hillier had discovered evidence of crimes, he then
began to interrogate Martindale about what he had found. The
audio portion of the video reveals that Deputy Hillier listed
for Martindale the items he found - an illegal shotgun and
drugs among them - and noted that he had three warrants for
Martindale’s arrest and that Martindale was driving
without a license. He tells Martindale that the officers had
been watching his home, saw him come out with a bag get into
his truck and leave, and that consequently the traffic stop
was made and “we are having this conversation.”
Hillier testified that he when he decided to impound the
vehicle, he was following the official towing policy of the
police department contained in Exhibit 1. ...