United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. Crabtree United States District Judge.
September 15, 2017, Trooper Jarrad Goheen of the Kansas
Highway Patrol (“KHP”) stopped defendant Juan
Beltran for speeding. Mr. Beltran says Trooper Goheen
violated his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights during their
interactions. Specifically, Mr. Beltran first argues that
Trooper Goheen unlawfully extended the traffic stop after he
gave Mr. Beltran a warning. Then, Mr. Beltran contends,
Trooper Goheen unlawfully searched his vehicle. Finally, Mr.
Beltran argues that Trooper Goheen violated his Fifth
Amendment rights when Trooper Goheen failed to recite Mr.
Beltran's Miranda rights before questioning him.
So, Mr. Beltran's Motion to Suppress asks the court to
suppress: (1) the evidence seized from the vehicle's
search; and (2) his statements to Trooper Goheen. For reasons
explained in this Order, the court grants Mr. Beltran's
Motion to Suppress (Doc. 18) in part and denies it in part.
following facts are taken from the evidence presented at the
July 17, July 27, and August 2, 2018, motion hearings.
8:20 a.m. on September 15, 2017, Trooper Goheen stopped Mr.
Beltran for traveling at 68 miles per hour in a
60-mile-per-hour construction zone established on Interstate
70. When Trooper Goheen initiated the traffic stop, Mr.
Beltran pulled over on the right shoulder adjacent to the
eastbound lanes of Interstate 70. The stop occurred just east
of Exit 199. For simplicity, the court divides Trooper
Goheen's interactions with Mr. Beltran into the following
first encounter begins with Trooper Goheen initially
approaching the driver's window of Mr. Beltran's car
after Trooper Goheen pulled him over. That encounter lasts
until the end of Trooper Goheen's conversation with
Lieutenant Scott Walker, another member of the KHP, in
Trooper Goheen's patrol car while he ran some traffic
checks. The second encounter covers the rest of the traffic
stop. It begins when Trooper Goheen again approached the
driver's window of Mr. Beltran's car after Trooper
Goheen ran traffic checks. And it ends when Trooper Goheen
began to walk back to his patrol vehicle but pivoted at the
rear edge of Mr. Beltran's car and started back toward
the driver's window. The third encounter starts when
Trooper Goheen returned to Mr. Beltran's car and asked
him some additional questions; it ends when Trooper Goheen
searched the trunk of Mr. Beltran's car while Lt. Walker
secured Mr. Beltran in the passenger seat of Trooper
Goheen's patrol car. The fourth encounter covers Trooper
Goheen's conversation with Mr. Beltran while he was
seated in the front seat of Trooper Goheen's patrol
vehicle. That fourth encounter ends when Trooper Goheen
decided to drive Mr. Beltran to the KHP's office in
Russell, Kansas. And the last encounter encompasses the car
ride from the scene of the traffic stop back to the KHP's
Russell, Kansas, office. During this fifth encounter, Trooper
Goheen was driving his patrol car, and Mr. Beltran was a
passenger in it. A video from Trooper Goheen's
dash-mounted camera captures the first four encounters.
See Gov. Ex. 1.
through E, following, describe the court's findings of
fact about these five encounters.
first encounter began when Trooper Goheen approached the
driver's side window of a car he had stopped. He
explained to its driver that he was speeding in a
construction zone. Then, Trooper Goheen requested the driver
to provide his driver's license. It identified the driver
as Juan Beltran, the defendant charged in this action.
Trooper Goheen asked Mr. Beltran if he was on vacation. Mr.
Beltran said that he was, so Trooper Goheen asked where he
was headed. Mr. Beltran explained that he was going to Kansas
City. Trooper Goheen then asked if Mr. Beltran had family in
Kansas City. Mr. Beltran said he did. Trooper Goheen also
learned that Mr. Beltran was from California, and that this
was his first time visiting Kansas. Trooper Goheen then asked
Mr. Beltran whether the car he was driving belonged to him
and whether he had his insurance and registration. While Mr.
Beltran retrieved these documents from their location inside
the car, Trooper Goheen again asked if Mr. Beltran had family
in Kansas City. Trooper Goheen specifically asked,
“What part of Kansas City?” Gov. Ex. 1 at
3:15-22. Mr. Beltran responded, “the northern
part.” Trooper Goheen then learned that Mr. Beltran was
traveling from Bell Gardens, California. Trooper Goheen asked
how long Mr. Beltran was going to stay in Kansas City. Mr.
Beltran responded, “a couple of days.” Trooper
Goheen commented that this was a “pretty quick
trip.” Id. at 3:30-42. After asking more
questions about Mr. Beltran's occupation and “what
happened” to Mr. Beltran's windshield, Trooper
Goheen informed Mr. Beltran that he was going to issue him a
Goheen testified about Mr. Beltran's demeanor during this
encounter. He opined that Mr. Beltran appeared “very
nervous.” Trooper Goheen based this assessment on his
observations that Mr. Beltran's hands were shaking, beads
of sweat had formed on his forehead, and he was avoiding eye
contact with Trooper Goheen. He also noticed that Mr.
Beltran's eyes were watery, and they had bags under
them-indicating to the trooper that Mr. Beltran was tired.
Trooper Goheen then reviewed the registration and insurance
documents. He testified that initially he was suspicious
because the car was registered to “Alejandro
Beltran”-and not Juan Beltran. But this suspicion was
dispelled when he saw that Juan Beltran was the name listed
on the insurance documentation. Finally, Trooper Goheen noted
that Mr. Beltran didn't react to the news that the
Trooper only was issuing a warning instead of a citation.
Trooper Goheen testified that he tells people they are
receiving a warning and then evaluates whether it reduces
their level of nervousness. He said Mr. Beltran's
nervousness did not subside. This encounter ended with
Trooper Goheen returning to his patrol car.
returned to his patrol vehicle, he ran some traffic checks.
Specifically, he checked with his dispatcher about Mr.
Beltran's driver's license, registration, and
criminal history. While Trooper Goheen waited for the
dispatcher to respond, he also checked the License Plate
Reader (“LPR”) for Mr. Beltran's license
plate. According to Trooper Goheen, the LPR takes pictures of
license plates as cars pass through toll booths along the
Kansas Turnpike. The LPR showed that Mr. Beltran's
vehicle had been in Kansas on June 28, 2017-about three
Trooper Goheen conducted these checks, Lieutenant Scott
Walker, also a member of the KHP, arrived on the scene. He
joined Trooper Goheen in the passenger seat of his patrol
car. Trooper Goheen and Lt. Walker discussed Mr. Beltran
having said he had not been to Kansas before, but the LPR
showed that his car had been in Kansas in June 2017. Trooper
Goheen commented that “it” was “kinda
weird, ” and said Mr. Beltran was
“nervous.” Id. at 10:07-10. They then
discussed the date of Mr. Beltran's registration-it was
issued on June 23, 2017. This was just five days before the
LPR showed the car in Kansas. Lt. Walker asked Trooper Goheen
about Mr. Beltran's travel plans, and Trooper Goheen
explained that Mr. Beltran had told him he was going to
Kansas City to visit family, but Mr. Beltran
“doesn't know where” in Kansas City.
Id. at 10:30-38. Trooper Goheen further explained
the extent of Mr. Beltran's knowledge about his
destination-“Just Kansas City-[he] doesn't know the
address or anything.” Id. at 10:36-40.
Goheen's second encounter with Mr. Beltran lasted just 24
seconds. See Id. at 11:40-12:04. Trooper Goheen
again approached the driver's side window of Mr.
Beltran's car. He told Mr. Beltran that he was going to
give him a warning and instructed him to watch his speed in
construction zones. He asked Mr. Beltran if he had any
questions-Mr. Beltran said he didn't-and then Trooper
Goheen told Mr. Beltran to “have a safe trip.”
Id. at 12:00-04. Then, Trooper Goheen began to walk
back to his patrol vehicle. But when Trooper Goheen reached
the rear edge of Mr. Beltran's vehicle, he pivoted and
started back in the direction of the driver's side window
of Mr. Beltran's car.
Trooper Goheen turned back toward Mr. Beltran's car, he
asked him, “Hey, can I ask you a question, Juan?”
Id. at 12:05-07. Although the dash camera video does
not capture Mr. Beltran's response, Trooper Goheen
testified that Mr. Beltran responded verbally with
“yeah” or “yes.” Trooper Goheen then
confirmed that Mr. Beltran was going to stay in Kansas City
merely for the weekend and again inquired about his
occupation. Next, Trooper Goheen asked about when Mr. Beltran
planned to return to California. While the wind's
interference on Trooper Goheen's microphone makes it
difficult to hear the entirety of Mr. Beltran's response,
Mr. Beltran said, in part, “maybe Sunday, ” and
then he said something about “Saturday night.”
Id. at 12:26-34. Trooper Goheen testified at the
July 17, 2018, hearing that Mr. Beltran told him he planned
to leave Kansas City on Saturday. Trooper Goheen also asked
Mr. Beltran about his family. Then, Trooper Goheen again
asked if this trip was Mr. Beltran's first trip to
Kansas. Mr. Beltran said it was, so Trooper Goheen asked if
anyone else ever had driven his car to Kansas. Mr. Beltran
responded, “No.” Id. at 12:48-13:06.
Goheen then asked why Mr. Beltran was staying in Kansas City
for such a short amount of time. Trooper Goheen confirmed,
again, that Mr. Beltran was leaving on Saturday night. Next,
Trooper Goheen asked Mr. Beltran if he had any guns, drugs,
or large amounts of currency in the car. Mr. Beltran said no.
Trooper Goheen then asked Mr. Beltran if he could search the
car. Mr. Beltran said no. Finally, Trooper Goheen inquired
why Mr. Beltran was so nervous, and then asked him if
everything was okay.
Goheen then directed Mr. Beltran to get out of his car, and
Trooper Goheen walked Mr. Beltran to the rear of the car.
Trooper Goheen patted him down and informed him that Lt.
Walker was going to employ a police K-9. This news upset Mr.
Beltran, who explained that he had had bad experiences with
Walker then deployed his police canine, Zeke. Lt. Walker is
assigned to the KHP's Police Service Dog Unit, and he has
served as a KHP canine handler since 2009. Zeke is a KHP
patrol canine whom Lt. Walker trained and handled. Lt.
Walker, in addition to his patrol duties, trains canines to
detect controlled substances (and to perform other law
enforcement functions) for the KHP. Before Zeke's initial
deployment as a patrol canine, Lt. Walker and Zeke
participated together in a ten-week training regimen. The
program was designed to train Zeke to function as a narcotics
detection and patrol-certified dog. Zeke graduated from this
training program in May 2015, and, after graduation, Zeke was
certified in narcotics detection and patrol duties.
addition to Zeke's initial training, Lt. Walker conducts
weekly “maintenance” trainings designed to keep
Zeke's detection and patrol abilities honed. Also, as
part of Zeke's training and maintenance, Zeke is
certified annually. Annual certification involves Zeke
participating in scenarios designed to test his ability to
detect the presence of controlled substances reliably. The
KHP trains and maintains all their police canines
“in-house, ” and it relies on non-KHP personnel
to test and certify their canines. As relevant here, Overland
Park Police Department Officer Cory Flaming certified Zeke on
October 3, 2016. Zeke was due for recertification on October
their October 3, 2016, certification test, Lt. Walker and
Zeke received an overall team score of 2.18. Gov. Ex. 3. This
was a passing score and fell in the “commendable”
score range. Lt. Walker testified that Zeke never has
received a score lower than a four. And, during the October
3, 2016, certification, Zeke did not identify and locate the
source of any substance other than contraband, i.e.,
he had no false positives.
Mr. Beltran's stop, Lt. Walker directed Zeke to begin
sniffing counterclockwise along the passenger side of the
car. Zeke deviated from his normal sniffing pattern and began
intensely sniffing along the seam on the driver's side of
the trunk and moving toward the passenger side of the trunk
seam. Lt. Walker reported that Zeke's sniffing was
intense and focused on the car's trunk seam. Lt. Walker
testified that this behavior constituted an
“alert.” To Lt. Walker, Zeke's behavior
suggested that he had detected an odor of controlled
substances, but not the strongest source of that odor. Lt.
Walker then directed Zeke to sniff at a medium height around
Mr. Beltran's car. When they arrived back at the rear of
the car again, Zeke began sniffing the trunk seam
methodically. According to Lt. Walker, Zeke then began to sit
down-a response that Lt. Walker interpreted as an
“indication.” Indicating is a behavior that
demonstrates Zeke has located the strongest source of the
Walker then informed Trooper Goheen that Zeke had indicated
drugs were in the trunk of Mr. Beltran's car. While Lt.
Walker stood at the front of Mr. Beltran's car with Mr.
Beltran, Trooper Goheen began searching the trunk. Shortly
after initiating his search, Lt. Walker called Trooper Goheen
to assist him. Lt. Walker explained his request, testifying
that Mr. Beltran had become uncooperative. Lt. Walker
testified Mr. Beltran was acting as though he wasn't
paying full attention to Lt. Walker's directions.
Specifically, Lt. Walker said that he saw behavior indicating
that Mr. Beltran was thinking about whether to fight or flee
from the scene. At this point, Lt. Walker requested Trooper
Goheen's help. Together, they handcuffed Mr. Beltran, and
Lt. Walker escorted him to the hood of Trooper Goheen's
patrol car. Lt. Walker testified that Mr. Beltran still was
not compliant. While Mr. Beltran did not resist Lt.
Walker's instructions overtly, he continued to pull away
from Lt. Walker.
Goheen then resumed his search of the car's trunk. He
quickly found a package of something he believed was
methamphetamine. It was located inside a duffel bag in the
trunk. Trooper Goheen searched the duffel bag while Lt.
Walker secured Mr. Beltran in the passenger seat of Trooper
Goheen's patrol vehicle.
Goheen then walked to where Mr. Beltran was seated and began
talking to him. He told Mr. Beltran to relax and not to make
things worse. Gov. Ex. 1 at 19:29-55. Trooper Goheen told Mr.
Beltran that they could “work through it
together.” Id. Mr. Beltran responded by asking
how, and Trooper Goheen responded, “We'll discuss
that.” Id. at 19:59-20:09.
Trooper Goheen closed the door of the car where Mr. Beltran
was sitting, but the door did not latch. Trooper Goheen then
began talking with Lt. Walker outside the patrol car. They
discussed how to get Mr. Beltran's car back to the KHP
office. Within ten seconds of Trooper Goheen closing the
door, Mr. Beltran nudged it open with his leg and said,
“Yo, come here.” Mr. Beltran then said,
“I'll tell you where everything's at.”
Trooper Goheen responded, “What's that?” Mr.
Beltran repeated, “I'll tell you where
everything's at.” Id. at 20:26-33.
Goheen responded, “Okay, all right, I appreciate
that.” Trooper Goheen then made the following statement
to Mr. Beltran: “Let me tell you something, I don't
know if he explained something to you. You can . . . you can
do one of two things, okay, you can . . . you can calm down,
and we can talk about this, and you can help yourself out,
okay, and I can help you.” Mr. Beltran responded by
asking Trooper Goheen, “How are you going to help
me?” Trooper Goheen responded, “On these
charges.” Trooper Goheen then asked Mr. Beltran if
there was any “more” in the car. Mr. Beltran
nodded his head affirmatively and said, “On the left
side.” Then, Mr. Beltran yelled “left side”
multiple times. Id. at 20:24-21:40.
Goheen testified that the officers found several more
packages of methamphetamine under the carpet of the trunk on
the left side. He explained that the packages were easy to
find because they were in a place where officers commonly
Goheen and Lt. Walker then discussed the logistics of
transporting Mr. Beltran and his vehicle to the KHP office.
Trooper Goheen decided to use his patrol car to transport Mr.
Beltran to the KHP's office in Russell, Kansas.
this transit, Trooper Goheen testified that he informed Mr.
Beltran of his Miranda rights. He also testified
that Mr. Beltran confirmed that he understood his rights. At
some point during the trip, Mr. Beltran told Trooper Goheen
that he had dropped a methamphetamine pipe on the floor of
the patrol vehicle. Mr. Beltran also told Trooper Goheen that
he had methamphetamine in his sock. Trooper Goheen later
recovered about eight grams of methamphetamine from Mr.
government says law enforcement officers recovered 11
packages from the duffel bag found in the trunk of Mr.
Beltran's car. They found seven more packages inside the
trunk lining on the driver's side of the vehicle. All
packages were wrapped in black duct tape, and some had
“M-36” labeled on them. A field test was done on
one of the packages, and it tested positive for
methamphetamine. The gross weight of the packages was
estimated at 23 pounds.
Request to Suppress Evidence
Beltran now asks the court to suppress all evidence acquired
during the search of his car. He also moves to suppress the
statements he made to Trooper Goheen.
Fourth Amendment Standard
Fourth Amendment to our Constitution forbids unreasonable
searches and seizures. California v. Carney, 471
U.S. 386, 390 (1985). When a defendant challenges the
reasonableness of a search or seizure, the government bears
the burden to prove the reasonableness of that search or
seizure by the preponderance of the evidence. United
States v. Matlock, 415 U.S. 164, 177 (1974); United
States v. Zubia-Melendez, 263 F.3d 1155, 1160 (10th Cir.
2001). If the court determines that a search or seizure
violated the Constitution, the exclusionary rule prohibits
admission into evidence the fruits of all evidence seized
illegally. See Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S.
471, 487-88 (1963).
Beltran argues that: (a) Trooper Goheen did not have the
requisite probable cause to detain him-as he did during the
third encounter-because the third encounter was not
consensual; (b) the dog sniff did not provide probable cause
to search his car; and (c) the court should suppress his
statements to Trooper Goheen and evidence that officers found
as a result because the questioning violated his Fifth
Amendment rights. Doc. 19 at 4. The court also addresses
other relevant issues-albeit briefly, since Mr. Beltran's
motion did not raise those issues.
the court concludes that the third encounter was a consensual
encounter. During this consensual encounter, Trooper Goheen
developed reasonable suspicion to detain Mr. Beltran long
enough for a dog sniff. The dog sniff provided the law
enforcement officers with probable cause to search Mr.
Beltran's vehicle. In contrast, the court determines that
it must suppress some of Mr. Beltran's
statements-i.e., those he made during the fourth
encounter. Finally, the court concludes that it should not
suppress the statements Mr. Beltran ...