Thursday, August 20, 2015

Reasonable Suspicion Supported BOLO and Stop of Defendant's Truck

U.S. v. Padilla-Esparza, 2015 WL 4774633 (8/14/15) (NM) (published) - The Tenth decides there was reasonable suspicion supporting border patrol agents' issuance of a BOLO (be on the lookout) for Mr. Padilla-Esparza and his truck, which led to a stop, a drug dog alert, and discovery of cocaine. The agents at first concluded Mr. Padilla-Esparza's truck was not the one they were looking for and let him go. They were then informed that his truck was in fact the subject of the BOLO and stopped him again. The factors giving rise to reasonable suspicion justifying the BOLO were: about seven months earlier, a drug dog had alerted to a hidden, non-factory compartment in Mr. Padilla-Esparza's truck when he passed through the checkpoint; a few days before the stop leading to his arrest, he initially failed to declare $2,000 hidden in a camera case; and he carried receipts for $1300 of clothing purchases, yet was able to supply few details about the landscaping job he reported; and he had traveled through the Las Cruces and Alamogordo checkpoints a number of times in the preceding six months. Because the initial stop did not dispel reasonable suspicion, agents were justified in conducting the second stop.