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United States v. Mayville

United States District Court, D. Utah

April 3, 2017



          HONORALBE JILL N. PARRISH United States District Court Judge

         District Judge Jill N. Parrish Defendant John Elisha Mayville filed a motion to suppress. Following an evidentiary hearing, the parties briefed the legal issues raised by the motion. Mr. Mayville argues that the traffic stop conducted by the Utah Highway Patrol troopers was unreasonably prolonged, thereby resulting in a Fourth Amendment violation and a warrantless search. Based on the evidence and case law relating to these issues, the court hereby DENIES Mr. Mayville's motion to suppress. [Docket 40]


         1. On May 6, 2016, Trooper Jason Tripodi stopped a red Audi for speeding on I-70. It was going 71 miles per hour in a 60-miles-per-hour zone.[1]

         2. Trooper Tripodi approached the vehicle, made contact with Mr. Mayville, and spoke to him about his speeding.[2] Mr. Mayville stated that he was travelling to Grand Junction, Colorado, from Lake Havasu, Arizona.[3]

         3. Trooper Tripodi's initial contact with Mr. Mayville lasted a couple of minutes.[4] During this initial contact, Trooper Tripodi asked for Mr. Mayville's license, registration, and proof of insurance.[5] While Mr. Mayville searched for these documents, Trooper Tripodi observed that he “had a lot of trouble coming up with that requested paperwork.”[6] Trooper Tripodi noted that the length of time he spent at the passenger side window was due to Mr. Mayville searching for the paperwork.[7] Trooper Tripodi observed that Mr. Mayville seemed like he “was drowsy, or something was wrong, something was up.”[8] Mr. Mayville “seemed confused almost” and Trooper Tripodi noticed that Mr. Mayville “wasn't able to multitask like a normal individual would be able to.”[9] Trooper Tripodi asked Mr. Mayville on multiple occasions if he was okay, based on his interaction with him.[10]

         4. Trooper Tripodi became concerned that Mr. Mayville may be impaired or drowsy.[11]

         5. Trooper Tripodi asked Mr. Mayville if he would mind coming back to his vehicle to talk to him while he filled out his paperwork.[12] Mr. Mayville declined this invitation.

         6. Trooper Tripodi returned to his vehicle and began filling out the paperwork for the stop.[13] He also radioed dispatch in order to run a records check on Mr. Mayville. Trooper Tripodi requested that dispatch run Mr. Mayville's license and check for warrants.[14] Trooper Tripodi conducted this check through dispatch because the UHP computers in patrol cars cannot conduct a complete warrant check.[15]

         7. About a minute later, Trooper Tripodi radioed for a Narcotic Detector Dog (NDD) and handler.[16]

         8. After radioing dispatch for records and for a NDD, Trooper Tripodi continued filling out a citation for Mr. Mayville, including “attempting to figure out whose vehicle it was because [Mr. Mayville] had no registration paperwork.”[17]

         9. Approximately four minutes later, prior to dispatch returning any records check information on either Mr. Mayville or the vehicle, Trooper Mackleprang arrived with his NDD.[18]

         10. Once Trooper Mackleprang arrived, Trooper Tripodi briefly informed him about what had occurred.[19] Trooper Mackleprong then walked up to Mr. Mayville's car and asked him to exit the vehicle so that he could run his NDD around the car. Mr. Mayville refused.[20] Trooper Mackleprang observed that Mr. Mayville had delayed reactions, “almost like a blank stare, ” which caused him to suspect that Mr. Mayville was impaired.[21]

         11. Trooper Macklprang requested Trooper Tripodi's assistance.[22] The two troopers convinced Mr. Mayville to exit the vehicle, and Trooper Tripodi patted Mr. Mayville down to check for weapons. Trooper Tripodi instructed Mr. Mayville to stand on the side of the road a few feet in front of the vehicle.[23]

         12. The NDD sniffed around the vehicle and alerted to the presence of narcotics.[24]

         13. After the NDD had alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle, dispatch returned the information about Mr. Mayville and his vehicle, indicating that Mr. Mayville had a criminal record.[25]

         14. Trooper Mackleprang explained to Mr. Mayville that his NDD had indicated to the odor of narcotics, at which point Mr. Mayville stated, “there's no way, there's no way.”[26] The troopers explained that they were going to search the vehicle and moved Mr. Mayville to Trooper Tripodi's vehicle.[27]

         15. The troopers conducted a search and found two handguns and a homemade suppressor inside the engine area (one wrapped in a cloth bag, another vacuum sealed with the suppressor); a yellow plastic container with three packages of methamphetamine, totaling approximately one pound (453 grams) behind the carpeted wall of the trunk on the passenger side; and another ...

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