United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill Chief Judge United States District Court
Court has before it a motion to suppress filed by defendant
Orozco-Guillen. The Court held an evidentiary hearing, taking
testimony from Detective Kevin Louwsma and Officer Timothy
Cooper, and viewing a police-cam video of the traffic stop at
issue. After the hearing, the Court took the motion under
advisement. For the reasons explained below, the Court will
deny the motion.
January of 2016, Ada County Narcotics Detectives were
investigating a methamphetamine trafficking ring involving
Brian Cluff. An undercover officer purchased methamphetamine
from Cluff and learned that Cluff used drivers to deliver his
drugs. During surveillance, officers observed a driver stop
at Cluff's shop and then travel to, and stop at, a
residence at 7273 S. Shadowmoss Ave in Boise and a shop at
4232 Adams St in Garden City.
addresses had a link to a known meth trafficker, James
Peirsol. Peirsol would visit the Shadowmoss house because his
girlfriend lives there and uses a car registered to Peirsol.
The Adams St. address is Peirsol's shop. The driver who
stopped at both addresses was pulled over and his vehicle
subjected to a drug dog sniff but the dog did not alert to
officers obtained a warrant to search Cluff's shop and
located 22 pounds of meth along with other drugs, packaging
material for drugs, and weapons including sawed off shotguns.
The officers also performed a trash pull at the Shadowmoss
home and retrieved packaging material consistent with the
material found in Cluff's shop.
March 1, 2016, officers conducted surveillance on the
Shadowmoss home. Anticipating the need for a traffic stop of
any vehicle that might visit and leave the Shadowmoss home,
Detective Kevin Louwsma asked a patrol unit to be in the
area. That patrol unit was manned by Officer Timothy Cooper.
Louwsma testified that he told Officer Cooper about what was
found in the Cluff search, about how the Shadowmoss home was
connected to Cluff and Peirsol, and about how the trash pull
at the Shadowmoss home collected packaging material similar
to that found in the Cluff search. Officer Cooper, in his
testimony, confirmed Detective Louwsma's testimony. The
Court finds both men credible.
evening, a black Dodge Ram pick-up truck arrived at the
Shadowmoss home and backed into the driveway with its
tailgate protruding into the garage. The driver took a large
duffle bag from the truck into the house. Later, the
surveillance officers could see two men doing something at
the rear of the truck. To get a better view, one of the
surveillance officers walked by the garage and could hear
power tools being used near the rear tail-gate although he
could not see precisely what they were doing. When the work
finished, the Dodge pulled out and left the Shadowmoss home.
radioed Officer Cooper and told him about these observations
and about how it appeared that work was being done on the
tailgate of the Dodge. Louwsma told Officer Cooper that he
believed either a load of methamphetamine was being dropped
off or that cash had been picked up, and directed Officer
Cooper to pull the Dodge over.
p.m., Officer Cooper pulled the Dodge over and requested a
drug dog from a separate patrol unit. The driver of the Dodge
was defendant Armando Orozco-Guillen. He immediately provided
the documents requested by Officer Cooper. For the next 17
minutes or so, Officer Cooper engaged Orozco-Guillen in small
talk, waiting for the drug dog. The drug dog unit arrived
about 17 minutes later. The officers ordered Orozco-Guillen
out of the car and conducted a pat-down search on him,
finding a torx-head screwdriver in his pocket. By this point,
about 20 minutes had elapsed since the Dodge was pulled over.
The drug dog was deployed and alerted to the tailgate of the
Dodge. The officers used the torx-head screwdriver found on
Orozco-Guillen to take apart the tailgate (the screwdriver
fit the screws precisely) and found three large gallon-sized
Ziploc bags that contained bundles of cash held together with
seeks to suppress the Ziploc bags and screwdriver. He argues
that Officer Cooper improperly delayed the ...