E.D.Tenn.: Stop should have been completed in six minutes, not the 17 it took for dog to arrive; suppressed for no RS to continue it

Defendant’s stop was unjustified for speeding according to the dashcam. Then, the officer prolonged the stop to 17 minutes for a drug dog to arrive. The stop reasonably should have been completed in six minutes. United States v. Hayes, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71818 (E.D. Tenn. Feb. 21, 2020), adopted, United States v. Hayes, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69908 (E.D. Tenn. Apr. 21, 2020):

… The Court agrees with the magistrate judge that defendants’ “continued detention beyond the five or six minutes necessary to conclude the traffic stop violated the Fourth Amendment” where Trooper Connors “had all the information he needed from the Defendants to conclude the traffic stop within two minutes of stopping the Versa” and he did not learn anything from defendant Carney during that six-minute period that provided independent reasonable suspicion of criminal activity [Doc. 35 p. 30, 32-33]. Specifically, the Court agrees with the magistrate judge’s finding that inconsistent travel plans, nervous mannerisms, and certain “micro-expressions” did not provide reasonable suspicion [Id. at p. 34-35]. See United States v. Stepp, 680 F.3d 651, 665 (6th Cir. 2012) (“We have held on numerous occasions … that nervousness is ‘an unreliable indicator, especially in the context of a traffic stop.'” (quoting United States v. Richardson, 385 F.3d 625, 630 (6th Cir. 2004)); see also Richardson, 385 F.3d at 630-31 (finding that nervousness, conflicting explanations of travel plans, and movement to driver’s seat did not support reasonable suspicion).

The government’s objections are unavailing because they fail to address the magistrate judge’s determination that the stop should have concluded no later than six (6) minutes into the stop and that Trooper Connors did not learn anything within these six (6) minutes that supported reasonable suspicion. The government contends that “[w]ithin seventeen minutes … Trooper Connors amassed numerous indicators, developing reasonable suspicion of possible criminal activity” and that “[b]ased on the totality of the circumstances of this traffic stop, the duration of time between the stop, the questioning of the defendants regarding their travel plans, and the alert by Laky on the vehicle were well within the range of reasonableness” [Doc. 36 p. 7]. Defendants argue in response [Doc. 38 p. 11] that a seventeen-minute interrogation is not a “diligent and efficient pursuit of a records check for a speeding warning” and that the stop concluded pursuant to Rodriguez the moment Trooper Connors told Mr. Carney he was going to issue a warning citation but not a ticket [Doc. 38 p. 10-11].

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