152 F.3d 309 (4th Cir. 1998), 96-4694, United States v. Raymond

Docket Nº:96-4694.
Citation:152 F.3d 309
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Jean RAYMOND, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:August 10, 1998
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
 
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152 F.3d 309 (4th Cir. 1998)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Jean RAYMOND, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 96-4694.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

August 10, 1998

Argued April 9, 1998.

Page 310

ARGUED: Ann Briks Walsh, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Charleston, South Carolina, for Appellant. Mary Gordon Baker, First Assistant United States Attorney, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellee. ON BRIEF: J. Rene Josey, United States Attorney, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellee.

Before ERVIN, Circuit Judge, BUTZNER, Senior Circuit Judge, and STAMP, Chief United States District Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia, sitting by designation.

Affirmed by published opinion. Judge ERVIN wrote the opinion, in which Senior Judge BUTZNER and Chief Judge STAMP joined.

OPINION

ERVIN, Circuit Judge:

Jean Raymond appeals his conviction for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. A South Carolina state trooper pulled over a vehicle in which Raymond was riding, ordered the car's passengers to exit the vehicle, and discovered a "cookie" of crack cocaine in Raymond's pants after a patdown search. After the district court denied Raymond's motion to suppress the evidence, Raymond pled guilty. The question before us is whether the crack evidence should be suppressed because the trooper's patdown search was unreasonable. We hold that the trooper's patdown search did not violate Raymond's rights under the Fourth Amendment and, therefore, affirm his conviction.

I.

Jean Raymond was a passenger in a car traveling north on Interstate 95 in South Carolina. Accompanying Raymond were his ex-girlfriend and her brother, Lester McMillan, who was driving. State trooper Laird stopped the red Ford Mustang for going 86 miles per hour in a 65 miles per hour zone. A second trooper, Summers, came on the scene shortly afterward as backup for Trooper Laird. Both Summers and Laird are part

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of the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Unit (ACE Team), a division of the South Carolina Highway Patrol whose members are trained specifically to patrol I-95 looking for drug trafficking activity. The details of what actually occurred during this stop are not in dispute because the event was captured on video by a camera in Trooper Laird's vehicle. That video is part of the record on appeal.

Laird requested that McMillan step out of the vehicle while Laird checked his license and registration and issued a citation. McMillan was extremely nervous, talking virtually non-stop and very quickly. Because of McMillan's nervousness, Laird asked him if he had any drugs or weapons in the car. McMillan denied having those items and readily consented to let Laird search the vehicle. Once McMillan signed the consent form, Laird raised the clipboard, which was a signal to Trooper Summers that he could begin searching the car.

Summers first asked Georgetta McMillan, who was sitting in the front seat, to get out of the car. Summers spoke with Ms. McMillan for a brief time and then asked...

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