W.D.Mo.: Illegal Terry frisk led to subsequent searches after arrest warrant found; no suppression under Strieff

Defendant’s Terry frisk was invalid, but the existence of a warrant for his arrest requires that the subsequent searches not be suppressed under Strieff. United States v. Sisco, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94761 (W.D. Mo. Jan. 11, 2017), adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94308 (W.D. Mo. June 20, 2017):

Applying these factors to the present case compels the conclusion that the evidence flowing from the unconstitutional Terry search should not be excluded from evidence at trial. Defendant was arrested in the early morning hours of August 26, 2015. The search warrants were obtained the afternoon and evening of August 26, 2015, more that twelve hours after the Terry stop. (Gov. Exs. 1 and 2) Defendant was interviewed and gave a statement at around 9:30 a.m. on August 27, 2015. (See Fact No. 12) Thus, the temporal period between the unlawful search of defendant’s pocket for his identification and the issuance of the search warrants and his statement was hours rather than the minutes in the Strieff case. However, even if the time between the stop and the warrants and the statement was not substantial, in this case, as in Strieff, a valid warrant for defendant’s arrest predated the Terry stop. (See Fact No. 7) Once the officer became aware of the warrant, he was mandated to arrest the defendant. Finally, with respect to the third factor, as in Strieff, no evidence was presented to suggest that the unlawful search for defendant’s identification was purposeful or flagrant or part of any systemic or recurrent police misconduct.

While the Strieff case involved an unconstitutional stop as opposed to an unconstitutional search, the holding was intended to address the issue of whether evidence should be excluded when an unconstitutional action leads to the discovery of a valid arrest warrant. Thus, the analysis of Utah v. Strieff is applicable in this action and mandates that the defendant’s subsequent statements, as well as evidence seized pursuant to the search warrants, not be excluded from evidence because of the unlawful search for identification documents during the Terry stop.

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