E.D.Ky.: Searching def’s underwear for drugs at 1:24 am on a virtually empty street that nobody likely saw was not unreasonable

The officer’s search of defendant’s underwear for drugs at 1:24 am on a dark night and nearly empty street was not a strip search and it was reasonably conducted. Nobody else was close enough to see anything. United States v. Jackson, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174849 (E.D. Ky. Oct. 11, 2018):

Furthermore, unlike Ford, where the Eastern District of Virginia found the intrusion was significant when a full-blown strip search occurred along a busy highway during rush hour, the search at issue here occurred on a dark night at approximately 1:24 a.m. (Doc. # 60 at 3). There was little traffic on the street, and there were approximately four people observing from a distance of fifty or sixty feet, and two individuals looked out of their windows onto the scene. Id. at 6. Additionally, the search did not involve an unreasonable search inside Defendant’s body. “Searches that intrude into the body implicate greater constitutional concerns.” Doxey, 833 F.3d at 704. Here, unlike Ford, who was subjected to a “full-blown body cavity search,” and Amaechi, whose genitals were penetrated, Defendant’s pants were lowered and Officer Ullrich used his right hand to pull Defendant’s pants straight out from his body, look in Defendant’s pants, and then stuck his hand into Defendant’s groin area, retrieving the package of methamphetamine within approximately five seconds. (Doc. # 60 at 6). The removal “did not require any further touching, intrusion, or probing into [Defendant’s] body.” Doxey, 833 F.3d at 705. The search necessarily involved intrusion, but did not rise to the level of unreasonable intrusion in Ford and Amaechi.

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