ultimate touchstone of the Fourth Amendment to the United
States Constitution is reasonableness. A search undertaken by
law enforcement officials to discover evidence of criminal
wrongdoing generally requires the obtaining of a judicial
warrant. If law enforcement officers do not have a warrant, a
search is reasonable only if it falls within a specific
exception to the warrant requirement.
State carries the burden to justify a warrantless search.
Kansas Supreme Court generally does not consider issues not
raised in a petition for review or cross-petition.
Under Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332, 129 S.Ct. 1710,
173 L.Ed.2d 485 (2009), law enforcement officers can conduct
a warrantless search of an automobile incident to arrest in
two specific circumstances: when the arrestee is unsecured
and within reaching distance of the passenger compartment at
the time of the search (the officer-safety justification) or
when it is reasonable to believe evidence relevant to the
crime of arrest might be in the vehicle (the
evidence-preservation justification). Gant also
recognizes officers may rely on other exceptions to the
warrant requirement to conduct an automobile search.
Under Gant's officer-safety circumstance, law
enforcement officers may search the passenger area and any
containers in it after an arrest, but only when officers have
not yet secured a passenger who remains within reaching
distance of the passenger area at the time of the search.
Under Gant's evidence-preservation
justification, the circumstances unique to the vehicle
context justify a search incident to a lawful arrest when it
is reasonable to believe evidence relevant to the crime of
arrest might be in the vehicle.
a criminal defendant challenges the sufficiency of evidence,
appellate courts review the evidence in a light most
favorable to the State to determine whether a rational
fact-finder could have found the defendant guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt. In making a sufficiency determination, the
appellate court does not reweigh evidence, resolve
evidentiary conflicts, or make determinations about witness
K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 21-5707(a)(1) provides that the illegal use
of a communication facility means knowingly or intentionally
using a communication facility, such as a cell phone, to
commit a drug crime.
of a communication facility occurs at both ends of a
communication-that is, whether an individual initiates or
receives the communication.
Venue to prosecute an alleged drug dealer for the crime of
unlawful use of a communication facility is proper in the
county where a potential drug purchaser initiates a telephone
call to the dealer if the dealer knows the location of the
caller and intentionally uses the communication to facilitate
the sale of drugs.
of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in 53 Kan.App.2d 258,
386 P.3d 532 (2016). Appeal from Lyon District Court; Merlin
G. Wheeler, judge.
Randall L. Hodgkinson, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office,
argued the cause, and Susan E. Bandy, legal intern, was with
him on the brief for appellant.
Carissa E. Brinker, assistant county attorney, argued the
cause, and Marc Goodman, county attorney, and Derek Schmidt,
attorney general, were with her on the brief for appellee.
Torres sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant,
Justin Barrett, while law enforcement officers observed them.
Barrett paid for the methamphetamine with $220 cash provided
by law enforcement officers who had recorded each bill's
serial number. After the drug deal, Torres briefly entered a
nearby apartment before he got into the passenger seat of a
car and left. A law enforcement officer followed the car and
pulled it over. Another officer formally arrested Torres and
searched the car, finding $200 of the recorded money. The
State charged Torres, who moved to suppress the evidence
seized in the car search. He argued the officer conducted an
illegal, warrantless search without probable cause or a
reasonable basis to believe the money used in the drug buy
would be in the car rather than the apartment he had entered.
The district court denied his motion, and a jury convicted
him of methamphetamine distribution and illegal use of a
communication device to facilitate a drug transaction. Torres
appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions.
See State v. Torres, 53 Kan.App.2d 258, 271, 386
P.3d 532 (2016).
the Court of Appeals, Torres first argued the district court
erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence because the
search occurred without a warrant and thus violated the
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court
of Appeals recognized that courts generally view an
officer's warrantless search as unconstitutional unless
it meets a warrant exception. But the Court of Appeals found
the search fell within the automobile and
search-incident-to-lawful-arrest exceptions to the warrant
requirement. 53 Kan.App.2d at 263-66. The Court of Appeals
rejected a third exception the district court had cited-the
plain-view exception. 53 Kan.App.2d at 266.
on our review, we conclude the law enforcement officer
conducted a constitutional search under the United States
Supreme Court's holding in Arizona v. Gant, 556
U.S. 332, 129 S.Ct. 1710, 173 L.Ed.2d 485 (2009), relating to
the search-incident-to-lawful-arrest exception in a vehicle
context. Because we reach that conclusion, we need not
determine whether other warrant exceptions apply.
also argued before the Court of Appeals that the State had
failed to establish venue as required to convict him of
illegal use of a communication device to facilitate a drug
transaction. The Court of Appeals held sufficient evidence
established Torres called Barrett knowing Barrett was in the
City of Emporia, which is located in Lyon County, ...