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State v. Demint

Court of Appeals of Idaho

September 28, 2016

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
WILLIAM SCOTT DEMINT, Defendant-Appellant.

         2016 Opinion No. 62

         Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Steven J. Hippler, District Judge.

         Judgment of conviction for trafficking in a controlled substance and possession of an illegal firearm, affirmed.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, Interim State Appellate Public Defender; Jenny C. Swinford, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Mark W. Olson, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          HUSKEY, Judge

         William Scott Demint appeals from his judgment of conviction for trafficking in a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and possession of an illegal firearm and argues the district court erred by denying his motion to suppress the evidence obtained from the search of his enclosed truck bed because probable cause dissipated once the drug dog failed to alert inside the passenger compartment. The State argues Demint did not properly preserve this argument on appeal. However, the State contends even if the issue was properly preserved, because the initial alert established probable cause to search the entire vehicle, the failed alert in the passenger compartment did not prevent officers from also searching the enclosed bed. Because Demint's theory regarding the basis for suppressing the evidence was not argued in the district court, we decline to review the issue for the first time on appeal. We affirm the district court.

         I.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURE

         Two officers were patrolling westbound Interstate 84. One officer had a drug detection dog. The officers received information that Demint and a passenger would be traveling in a maroon Ford F-150 truck and potentially had methamphetamine. The officers observed the vehicle and stopped it for two traffic infractions: speeding and failing to use a turn signal properly. The truck had an extended passenger compartment and the truck bed was enclosed with a camper shell. One officer approached the truck and asked for Demint's driver's license and registration. While one officer ran the information, the canine officer deployed his drug dog. The drug dog alerted at the open driver's side window of the passenger compartment. The officer directed the dog into the passenger compartment but the drug dog failed to alert inside. The officer did not manually search the passenger compartment. The officer then took the drug dog to the back of the truck, opened up the camper shell, and had the drug dog jump inside the enclosed bed. The drug dog alerted inside the enclosed bed near a green bag and a first aid kit. The officer searched but did not find anything in the green bag. The officer put the drug dog back in the patrol car, resumed his search, and found methamphetamine, oxycodone, marijuana, and approximately $12, 000 in cash in the first aid kid.

         Demint was arrested and charged with four felony offenses: trafficking in methamphetamine; possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to deliver; unlawful possession of a firearm; and possession of a controlled substance. He was also charged with two misdemeanors: possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia. The State also alleged Demint was a persistent violator. Demint moved to suppress the evidence and joined in the issues raised in his co-defendant's motion to suppress, arguing: (1) the stop of his vehicle was invalid; (2) the warrantless search of his vehicle violated his Fourth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution and under Article I, § 17 of the Idaho Constitution; (3) the search was not performed pursuant to any exception to the warrant requirement; and (4) there was no probable cause to search the enclosed bed because the drug dog's initial alert only provided probable cause to search the passenger compartment.

         After a hearing, the district court denied Demint's joint motion to suppress and found the officer had probable cause to search the entire vehicle, including the enclosed bed. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Demint conditionally pled guilty to trafficking in methamphetamine, Idaho Code §§ 37-2732B(a)(4)(C), 18-204, and unlawful possession of a firearm, I.C. § 18-3316, reserving his right to appeal the district court's denial of his motion to suppress. The State agreed to dismiss the remaining charges. The district court imposed a unified twenty-year sentence, with ten years determinate, for trafficking in methamphetamine, and a consecutive five-year sentence, with two and one-half years determinate, for unlawful possession of a firearm, to be served consecutively. Demint timely appeals.

         II.

         STANDARD ...


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