W.D.N.C.: Def did not abandon backpack by hiding it nearby in bushes; he retained control

Defendant was at a McDonald’s with friends outside a car. When he saw the police, he put his backpack in the bushes to hide it while remaining nearby. He also went back to it to push it deeper into the bushes. He was close enough and retained control over it to have a reasonable expectation of privacy with his friends watching over it and did not abandon it. Motion to suppress granted. United States v. Whiteside, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201024 (W.D.N.C. Nov. 4, 2022).

The stop was justified by a traffic infraction. The extended magazine sticking out of the gun on the floorboard satisfied the “immediately apparent” factor for plain view. Commonwealth v. Smith, 2022 PA Super 187, 2022 Pa. Super. LEXIS 443 (Nov. 4, 2022).

“Second, the court finds that the subject trash container was placed in an area particularly suited for public inspection and for the implicit purpose of trash collection. Whether the bottom of the trash container was situated three, four, five, or six feet away from the road is immaterial. The court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that there was at least a three-to-four-foot gap between the edge of the fence and the bottom of the container, which also means that the container was no more than four to five feet from the street. Therefore, the position of the container was such that any scavenger, snoop, or other member of the public would reasonably believe that the contents of the container had been discarded and presented fair game for reclamation.” United States v. Lee, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200987 (W.D. La. Oct. 18, 2022).*

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