California man claims double traffic stops made him OK K-9 search

Posted Online: April 24, 2014, 8:52 pm
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By Lisa Hammer, rlhammer@qconline.com
A Grass Valley, California, man will have to wait until the end of May to find out if his motion to suppress evidence and quash his arrest is successful.

David L. Labarre, 59, was charged in Henry County Circuit Court last October with Class X felony cannabis trafficking, Class X possession with intent to deliver and Class 1 possession of cannabis after troopers allegedly found 242 pounds of cannabis in his Ford 250 pickup.

Defense attorney Daniel Dalton argued the issue was whether an I-80 traffic stop east of Geneseo for a warning for driving 70 in a 65 mile per hour zone on Oct. 16 had been prolonged by the officer asking questions unrelated to the traffic stop. He said Trooper Andrew Fratzke asked for consent to do the K-9 search two minutes before he completed writing the warning.

Mr. Labarre testified he'd been pulled over in Iowa about an hour earlier for a partially obscured license plate, and an Iowa trooper ignored his denial to search the vehicle. He said the Iowa trooper got on the radio and said he had a refusal, then put him in the patrol car and asked him questions. He said when the trooper asked about a K-9 search, he said "absolutely not," but the trooper conducted the sniff anyway, however the dog did not alert.

An hour later, he was pulled over in Illinois. Mr. Labarre said Thursday that he initially agreed to Illinois Trooper Andrew Fratzke's request for a K-9 search but said he added something like he didn't understand what the trooper was asking and didn't know what he could do about it because "you're the law." He admitted he never told the trooper he didn't want him to do the K-9 search.

"At that point I felt like I had no say," he said. He said the entire stop was 13 or 14 minutes.

Trooper Fratzke testified that Iowa troopers had alerted him that Mr. Labarre was headed to Illinois and they suspected he was transporting narcotics, and based on that information he wanted to form his own opinion.

He said the fact the Iowa dog hadn't alerted on the vehicle didn't lower his suspicions because he wasn't familiar with that dog, he believed it was a newer dog and they'd mentioned it crawled under the vehicle and he felt it could have been burned by the hot exhaust pipe.

"A dog's going to shy away from that," he said.

Judge Richard Zimmer set a further hearing for May 30 and asked Mr. Dalton and assistant state's attorney Brian Kerr to prepare written briefs.


Local events heading

  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.

(More History)