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State v. Ibarra

Court of Appeals of Idaho

October 30, 2018

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JESSICA JEAN IBARRA, aka DELEON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, State of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Christopher S. Nye, District Judge.

         Judgments of conviction and determinate sentence of seven years for possession of a controlled substance and consecutive indeterminate sentence of five years for possession of contraband in a correctional facility, affirmed.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Brian R. Dickson, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Kale D. Gans, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          LORELLO, Judge.

         In these consolidated cases, Jessica Jean Ibarra, aka DeLeon, appeals from her judgments of conviction and sentences for possession of a controlled substance and possession of contraband in a correctional facility. Ibarra argues that the district court erred in denying her motion to suppress evidence she discarded in the booking area of a correctional facility. She also argues that her sentences are excessive. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Ibarra was arrested and booked into jail for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia (Docket No. 44948). While Ibarra was in custody, detention deputies received information from another inmate that Ibarra was concealing methamphetamine in her vagina. Ibarra was placed in handcuffs and transported to the booking area of the jail where a female deputy conducted a search, which did not reveal methamphetamine. While still in the booking area, Ibarra asked to use the restroom. Officers accommodated Ibarra's request by providing her with a port-a-toilet. Officers visually inspected Ibarra's urine for contraband, but did not discover any. Ibarra was returned to the booking area for approximately two and one-half hours while the officers attempted to obtain a warrant to search Ibarra's body cavities. While waiting in the booking area, Ibarra stood up and threw a small white "plastic thing" containing methamphetamine on the ground. Ibarra was subsequently charged with possession of a controlled substance, I.C. § 37-2732(c)(1), and possession of contraband in a correctional facility, I.C. § 18-2510(3) (Docket No. 44949).

         Ibarra filed a motion to suppress the methamphetamine, arguing that the continued detention after the search and inspection of her urine was unlawful and unsupported by probable cause.[1] The district court denied Ibarra's motion. The district court found that the methamphetamine was not discovered as a result of a search, but was discovered after it was abandoned by Ibarra. The district court also found Ibarra's detention was reasonable under the circumstances.

         Pursuant to a plea agreement, Ibarra pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance in Docket No. 44948 and entered a conditional guilty plea to possession of contraband in a correctional facility in Docket No. 44949, reserving her right to appeal the denial of her motion to suppress. As part of the plea agreement, the State dismissed the remaining charges in both cases and the sentencing enhancements filed in both cases. The district court imposed a determinate term of seven years for possession of a controlled substance to run concurrently with Ibarra's sentences in unrelated cases and a consecutive indeterminate term of five years for possession of contraband in a correctional facility to run concurrently with her other unrelated sentences. Ibarra filed I.C.R. 35 motions for a reduction of her sentences, which the district court denied. Ibarra appeals.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The 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 court. State v. Valdez-Molina, 127 Idaho 102, 106, 897 P.2d 993, 997 (1995); State v. Schevers, 132 Idaho 786, 789, 979 P.2d 659, 662 (Ct. App. 1999).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. ...


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