HI: Dog sniff for drugs in traffic stop was not reasonably related to the purpose of the stop

Dog sniff for drugs in traffic stop was not reasonably related to the purpose of the stop, and it is suppressed. State v. Ikimaka, 2020 Haw. LEXIS 139 (June 9, 2020):

The dog sniff conducted on the truck was not reasonably related in scope to Officer Hsu’s initial stop of Ikimaka as it was unrelated to Ikimaka’s alleged theft of Numazawa’s purse. An investigation unrelated to the initial stop “must be supported by independent reasonable suspicion to be constitutional.” Estabillio, 121 Hawai’i at 273, 218 P.3d at 761. Numazawa’s alleged drug history did not give KPD reasonable suspicion to believe the truck driven by Ikimaka contained drugs.

Moreover, the dog sniff was impermissible based on the case law existing at the time of the motion to suppress. The facts of this case are distinguishable from Groves and Snitkin, which the circuit court cited in its order denying Ikimaka’s motion to suppress. In Groves, Groves was initially stopped at the airport after a pilot reported the smell of marijuana emanating from Groves’s suitcase. 65 Haw. at 105-06, 649 P.2d at 368. After stopping Groves, a police officer also noticed the smell of marijuana from the suitcase, after which a dog sniff was performed on the suitcase. 65 Haw. at 106, 649 P.2d at 368. This court held that Groves had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the airspace around his suitcase and the dog sniff was not an illegal search. 65 Haw. at 113, 649 P.2d at 372. However, unlike in Groves, Ikimaka was stopped because he had allegedly stolen Numazawa’s purse, and the ensuing dog sniff for drugs was unrelated to that reason.

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