AK: Seizure of luggage and shipping back to Anchorage for dog sniff violated U.S. v. Place

When defendant arrived by plane to Dillingham, Alaska, officers, tipped off by a CI, asked for consent to search defendant’s suitcases for marijuana. He refused. They seized the suitcases and applied to a magistrate for a warrant. The magistrate said that the informant hearsay failed Aguilar-Spinelli, which is still the standard in Alaska. He invited them to get more information and present it again. Instead, the officers refused to return them, kept the suitcases, and shipped them to Anchorage on the morning plane so the Alaska State Troopers could do a dog sniff. A dog sniffed and alerted, and a warrant was issued on that. The motion to suppress should have been granted. Shipping the bags to Anchorage violated United States v. Place, and it was unreasonable to deprive defendant over his property for way so long. Telling him that he’d get them back eventually doesn’t make an unconstitutional seizure a constitutional one. Moore v. State, 2016 Alas. App. LEXIS 101 (May 27, 2016).

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