United States v Stewart 7th CIR (5SEP2018)

United States v Stewart 7th CIR (5SEP2018)

The defendant was identified as a suspect in a drug trafficking operation after months of surveillance including information by confidential informants.  As result of this suspicion, they put the defendant under surveillance. The defendant got in his vehicle, drove to a gas station where another individual got in the car and left a few minutes later and drove off in his own car.  Based on their experience, he LEOs believed they had just witnessed a drug deal. The LEOs then followed the defendant as he drove off.  When the defendant failed to make a stop at a red light before making a right-hand turn, the LEOs conducted a traffic stop.  While conducting the stop the officers checked license and registration but also radioed for K9 backup.  The K9 alerted, the car was searched, and the officers found a handgun and arrested the defendant for felon in possession. The officers then found crack, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine in the car.  Once in custody, he was questioned and ultimately confessed. The defendant sought to exclude the physical evidence for Fourth Amendment violations and sought to suppress the confession for Miranda violations. The court held the traffic stop was not unlawfully extended and also that the defendant did not unambiguously invoke his right to remain silent.

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