Opinion No. 13
from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State
of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. John T. Mitchell, District
denying motion to suppress, affirmed.
D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Sally J.
Cooley, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Ted S. Tollefson,
Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
GRATTON, Chief Judge.
Michael Pieper appeals from his conviction for possession of
a controlled substance, Idaho Code § 37-2732(c)(1).
Pieper asserts that the district court erred by denying his
motion to suppress evidence of drugs and paraphernalia found
in the course of an encounter with police officers. We
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
on patrol, two Coeur d'Alene police officers noticed two
vehicles in a parking lot around 10:30 p.m. The officers
observed a blue light inside one of the cars. After parking
the patrol car, the officers approached the vehicle with the
blue light, one officer on the driver's side and the
other officer on the passenger's side. Both officers used
flashlights to illuminate the interior of the vehicle.
first officer addressed Pieper, who was sitting in the
driver's seat, and asked "Can I talk to you
guys?" Pieper responded in the affirmative. Within
seconds of making contact, the second officer saw a jar
appearing to contain marijuana sitting in plain view in the
back seat of the car. After being informed about the jar, the
first officer instructed Pieper to step out of the vehicle
and he was placed in handcuffs. A subsequent search of the
vehicle resulted in the officers finding a gun,
paraphernalia, methamphetamine, morphine, oxycodone, and
subsequently moved to suppress the evidence found during the
course of his arrest on the basis that the initial encounter
with the officers was not consensual and constituted a
warrantless seizure. The district court denied the motion.
Thereafter, pursuant to a plea agreement, Pieper pled guilty
to possession of methamphetamine and reserved his right to
appeal the denial of his motion to suppress. The district
court imposed a unified sentence of five years, with one year
determinate. Pieper timely appeals.