Monday, April 13, 2015

Circumstances Supported Reasonable Suspicion of Dangerousness

U.S. v. Marquez, 2015 WL 756703 (2/24/15) (Kan.) (unpub'd) - There was reasonable suspicion of an offense and that Mr. Marquez was dangerous and might gain immediate control of a weapon under the following circumstances. As officers signalled for Mr. Marquez to stop for the offense of expired tags, Mr. Marquez made a "jerking" motion indicating to the officer that he was trying to hide something. As the officers approached the stopped truck, the passenger stuffed an item in between the seat cushions. They were in a "high-crime" area after midnight, and Mr. Marquez admitted he was on parole for a firearms violation. Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032 (1983), which permitted such a search of the truck was not abrogated by Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332 (2009), which put limits on when officers can search a vehicle after arresting a driver.

The district court did not err when it denied Mr. Marquez's motion to disqualify the entire U.S. Attorney's office because he had previously burglarized the home of an AUSA in the district and the AUSA asked for a much harsher sentence for Mr. Marquez than the prosecutor in the case. All that the office needed to do was make sure the particular AUSA had nothing to do with the case. Mr. Marquez's plea negotiations were not affected since the office already had a policy of not offering pleas to stolen firearms charges in lieu of a felon-in-possession conviction.