193 F.3d 1025 (8th Cir. 1999), 99-2285, United States v. Valdivia

Docket Nº:99-2285
Citation:193 F.3d 1025
Party Name:United States of America,Plaintiff/Appellee, v. Reynaldo Tovar-Valdivia, Defendant/Appellant.
Case Date:October 15, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 1025

193 F.3d 1025 (8th Cir. 1999)

United States of America,Plaintiff/Appellee,


Reynaldo Tovar-Valdivia, Defendant/Appellant.

No. 99-2285

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

October 15, 1999

Submitted: September 14, 1999

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Page 1026

Before RICHARD S. ARNOLD, BRIGHT and LOKEN, Circuit Judges.


Appellant Reynaldo Tovar-Valdivia (Tovar) was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841. Tovar filed a motion to suppress evidence seized from his person. The district court denied the motion. Tovar entered a conditional guilty plea, reserving his right to this appeal. On Tovar's timely appeal, we now reverse.


On April 6, 1998, Tovar arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, from Los Angeles on a Greyhound Bus. An officer with the Kansas City Police Department, assigned to interdiction duties at the bus station where the officer had conducted several drug seizures, witnessed Tovar exit the bus and leave the bus terminal. The officer's attention was drawn to Tovar because he had just come off the bus coming from Los Angeles, a source city for narcotics, and Tovar appeared to be in a hurry. The officer also testified that he noticed Tovar because he was carrying a new bag, and, in the officer's experience, most narcotics are carried in new bags.

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While Tovar talked with a cab driver, the officer approached him and identified himself as a police officer. The officer asked to see a bus ticket, which Tovar produced, and asked if he could search Tovar's bag, which Tovar said he may. No contraband was found in the bag. As the officer searched the bag, however, he noticed bulges under Tovar's shirt and testified that he was concerned they were weapons. The officer felt the bulges and knew only that they were not part of Tovar's anatomy. He then summoned another officer whereupon the officers handcuffed Tovar, unbuttoned his shirt and found narcotics strapped to his body. The officers placed Tovar under arrest, took him to a confined room in back of the bus station, took pictures of the bags strapped to his body, and read him his Miranda rights.

The appellant was charged by indictment with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §...

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