CA5: Consent of motorist based on “before you go” was involuntary

The consent was found by the district court to be involuntary because it was based on “before you go”: “Also at the suppression hearing, Spelying testified that as Robertson turned to leave, the officer asked him, ‘before you go, we have problems with people smuggling things on the interstate: guns, drugs, weapons, you know, anything of that nature. Can I search your vehicle before you go?’ Robertson agreed to the search. Spelying found a partially smoked marijuana cigar and two handguns hidden in the car’s center console.” “Applying this analysis, the district court held that a reasonable person would not have felt free to leave and would have felt compelled to agree to the search.” The court can’t say that the district court clearly erred. [You kind of feel that they wanted to.] United States v. Robertson, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10379 (5th Cir. June 17, 2015).

An arrested Oxy dealer cooperated with police in luring his suppliers to a motel room for him to buy. Based on the text messages, the arrival of defendant was an arrest on probable cause. A cell phone out in the car was accessed without a warrant, and the government conceded Riley applied. Instead, the court finds the search was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. United States v. Lewis, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10348 (6th Cir. June 17, 2015).*

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