Opinion No. 8
from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, State
of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Thomas J. Ryan, District Judge.
denying motion to suppress, affirmed; judgment and
D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Ben P.
McGreevy, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Ted S. Tollefson,
Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
John Harper appeals from the district court's judgment
and commitment. He argues the district court erred when it
denied his motion to suppress. The order denying motion to
suppress and judgment and commitment of the district court
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
officer observed Harper driving his vehicle on the freeway
about one and one-half car lengths behind another vehicle at
a speed of approximately 65 mph. The officer stopped
Harper's vehicle for following too closely, in violation
of Idaho Code § 49-638(1). Upon approaching the vehicle,
the officer smelled the odor of marijuana and noticed two
large, gift-wrapped boxes in the back seat of the vehicle.
The officer deployed his drug detection canine, who alerted
to the odor of drugs on the exterior of the vehicle and to
the boxes in the interior of the vehicle. The officer
searched Harper's vehicle and opened the boxes. Inside
the boxes were freezer-style packages of what appeared to be
marijuana. Together, the packages contained 17.38 pounds of
was charged with trafficking in marijuana. He filed a motion
to suppress the marijuana, arguing the officer lacked
reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop because I.C. §
49-638(1) is unconstitutionally vague. The district court
denied Harper's motion to suppress, holding the officer
had reasonable suspicion to effectuate the traffic stop and
I.C. § 49-638(1) is not unconstitutionally vague. At
trial, Harper was found guilty of trafficking in marijuana,
in violation of I.C. § 37-2732B(a)(1). The district
court imposed a determinate, three-year sentence. Harper
standard of review of a suppression motion is bifurcated.
When a decision on a motion to suppress is challenged, we
accept the trial court's findings of fact that are
supported by substantial evidence, but we freely review the
application of constitutional principles to the facts as
found. State v. Atkinson, 128 Idaho 559, 561, 916
P.2d 1284, 1286 (Ct. App. 1996). At a suppression hearing,
the power to assess the credibility of witnesses, resolve
factual conflicts, weigh evidence, and draw factual
inferences is vested in the trial ...