OH10: Smell of MJ from car justified its search; suppression reversed

The trial court erred in granting defendant’s motion to suppress because the officer smelled marijuana in defendant’s car, and that justified its search. Moreover, defendant wasn’t in custody when he was speaking to the officer, so his statements aren’t suppressed. State v. Drake, 2017-Ohio-755, 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 741 (10th Dist. March 2, 2017).*

“Both troopers acted promptly and professionally in investigating the reasonable suspicion of criminal activity that arose during the traffic stop. As soon as Strickland made contact with Defendant Guardiola (the driver of the Impala), Strickland noticed that Guardiola was visibly nervous and would not make eye contact when answering basic questions. Trooper Strickland shook Guardiola’s hand and noticed that it was very sweaty. Guardiola stated that he was going to meet his brother about a job at a refinery, but Guardiola could not identify the refinery or what city it was in. Guardiola had no idea where he was going. Guardiola stated that he was traveling from Houston, Texas, which Trooper Strickland knew is a major entry point for narcotics. Guardiola could not find any paperwork for the vehicle, which Guardiola said was owned by his uncle.” United States v. Aviles, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184420 (N.D. La. Oct. 21, 2016),* adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25806 (W.D. La. Feb. 22, 2017).*

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