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


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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.

















 



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