Defendant was stopped for not using a turn signal. Deploying the drug dog at the beginning of the stop without reasonable suspicion unreasonably prolonged the stop in violation of Rodriguez. Commonwealth v. Smith, 2018 Ky. LEXIS 128 (Mar. 26, 2018):
Under the circumstances of this case, as reflected in the trial court’s findings, we cannot conclude that Eaton “diligently pursued” the traffic violation. Eaton did nothing to advance the traffic stop’s mission—a citation for not using a turn signal. Cf. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405. We reject the Commonwealth’s argument that Eaton avoided the Rodriguez problem simply by deploying the dog at the beginning of the stop, before addressing the traffic violation, instead of at the end of the stop after addressing the traffic violation. If the traffic citation was deferred to complete the sniff search, then the officer did not act with reasonable diligence to pursue the legitimate object of the traffic stop. Either way, the stop was prolonged beyond what was reasonably needed to complete the purpose of the stop. Eaton deferred the issuance of the citation to conduct the dog sniff search, and thereby unreasonably prolonged the stop, albeit for a very brief time. “There is no ‘de minimis exception’ to the rule that a traffic stop cannot be prolonged for reasons unrelated to the purpose of the stop.” Davis, 484 S.W.3d at 294. “[A]n officer cannot detain a vehicle’s occupants beyond completion of the purpose of the initial traffic stop unless something happened during the stop to cause the officer to have a reasonable and articulable suspicion that criminal activity [is] afoot.” Turley, 399 S.W.3d at 421 (citation and internal quotes omitted).