U.S. v. Martin, No. 04-2711.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtColloton
Citation411 F.3d 998
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Dale Joseph MARTIN, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 04-2711.
Decision Date28 June 2005
411 F.3d 998
UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,
v.
Dale Joseph MARTIN, Appellant.
No. 04-2711.
United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.
Submitted: December 14, 2004.
Filed: June 28, 2005.

Page 999

Gary George Colbath, argued, Asst. Federal Public Defender, Rapid City, SD (Monica D. Thomas, Asst. Federal Public Defender, on the brief), for appellant.

Thomas J. Wright, argued, Asst. U.S. Atty., Sioux Falls, SD (Jonathan A. Kobes, Asst. U.S. Atty., on the brief), for appellee.

Before WOLLMAN, LAY, and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.

COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.


Dale Joseph Martin entered a conditional plea of guilty to a charge of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D). The district court1 sentenced Martin to six months' imprisonment

Page 1000

to be followed by two years of supervised release. Martin appealed the denial of his motion to suppress. We affirm.

I.

On August 3, 2003, Oglala Sioux Tribal Department of Public Safety Officer Keith Grube and United States Bureau of Indian Affairs Police Officer Steven Knispel were conducting traffic patrol in Pine Ridge. Grube observed that the right brake light on a red Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Martin did not illuminate when the car approached a stop sign. Knispel later testified that he thought that both brake lights were out. Based on his observation of the unilluminated right brake light, Grube directed the car to stop and approached the driver.

Grube then asked for Martin's driver's license. Martin appeared to be nervous and started to shake. Grube asked Martin to step out of the vehicle and gave him a citation for driving without a license. After completing the citation, Grube asked Martin if he had anything in the vehicle that Grube should know about. Martin became more nervous, and Grube asked for permission to search the vehicle. Martin responded "no" in a slurred voice and appeared very nervous.

At that point, Grube retrieved a drug dog from his patrol car. Martin became more agitated, put his hands on his head, and walked across the street. The dog sniffed around Martin's vehicle and alerted at both the left front door seam and the driver's side rear quarter panel. The district court found that the time between Grube's delivery of the citation to Martin and the drug dog's alert was about two minutes.

During this period, Martin approached Officer Knispel, and Knispel asked whether there was something in the vehicle that police should know about. Martin answered "yes," Knispel shrugged his shoulders, and Martin said "marijuana." When Knispel asked how much, Martin said one pound. Knispel then handcuffed Martin and took him into custody. After the dog alerted, officers searched the vehicle and found an open bag with marijuana, some cash, and a small scale.

Martin moved to suppress the evidence seized as a result of the stop. After the district court denied the motion, Martin entered a conditional plea of guilty to an indictment charging possession with intent to distribute marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D). The district court granted Martin's motion for downward departure from the otherwise applicable (and then-mandatory) sentencing guideline range, and sentenced him to six months' imprisonment.

II.

Martin first argues that the traffic stop was not reasonable. A traffic stop generally must be supported by "at least a reasonable, articulable suspicion that criminal activity has occurred or is occurring," and "a traffic violation — however minorcreates probable cause to stop the driver of a vehicle." United States v. Fuse, 391 F.3d 924, 927 (8th Cir.2004) (quotations omitted). Martin argues that his operation of a vehicle with one non-functioning brake light did not violate the Tribe's Motor Vehicle Code, and that because his conduct was entirely lawful, Grube did not have reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop.

Section 621 of the Tribe's Motor Vehicle Code, discussing unsafe vehicles, reads in pertinent part:

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or cause to knowingly permit to be driven on any public road any motor vehicle which is in such unsafe condition so as to endanger any person or is not at all times equipped with the following:

Page 1001

....

(3) STOP LIGHTS: All motor vehicles shall be equipped with a stop light in good working order at all times. Such stop lights to be automatically controlled by brake adjustment.

Martin asserts that because the Code requires only that his vehicle be "equipped with a stop light in good working order," and because the district court never found that both of his brake lights were non-functioning (the court said his vehicle had "either one or two defective tail lights"), Grube had no basis to stop Martin for violating the Motor...

To continue reading

Request your trial
110 practice notes
  • Elliott v. SHERIFF OF RUSH COUNTY, IND., No. 1:08-cv-0480-RLY-JMS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • February 22, 2010
    ...and otherwise executed in a reasonable manner does not infringe upon a plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights. United States v. Martin, 411 F.3d 998, 1002 (8th Cir.2005). Such a dog sniff may be the product of an unconstitutional seizure, however, if the traffic stop is unreasonably prolonged ......
  • United States v. Nicholson, No. 11–2169.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • July 12, 2013
    ...such a categorical approach, preferring instead the traditional totality of the circumstances test. See, e.g., United States v. Martin, 411 F.3d 998, 1001 (8th Cir.2005); Travis v. State, 331 Ark. 7, 959 S.W.2d 32, 34 (1998); Moore v. State, 986 So.2d 928, 935 (Miss.2008); State v. Heien, 3......
  • People v. Hinshaw, No. 46
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • September 1, 2020
    ...Cir.2007] ; Delfin–Colina, 464 F.3d at 396 ; United States v. Lopez–Moreno, 420 F.3d 420, 430 [5th Cir.2005] ; United States v. Martin, 411 F.3d 998, 1001 [8th Cir.2005] ; United States v. Sandridge, 385 F.3d 1032, 1036 [6th Cir.2004] ; United States v. Chanthasouxat, 342 F.3d 1271, 1275 [1......
  • State v. Brown, No. 2011AP2907–CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 16, 2014
    ...totality of the circumstances a reasonable officer could have believed that a law violation was occurring. See United States v. Martin, 411 F.3d 998, 1001 (8th Cir.2005) (a search is valid when “an objectively reasonable police officer could have formed a reasonable suspicion that [a defend......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
110 cases
  • Elliott v. SHERIFF OF RUSH COUNTY, IND., No. 1:08-cv-0480-RLY-JMS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • February 22, 2010
    ...and otherwise executed in a reasonable manner does not infringe upon a plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights. United States v. Martin, 411 F.3d 998, 1002 (8th Cir.2005). Such a dog sniff may be the product of an unconstitutional seizure, however, if the traffic stop is unreasonably prolonged ......
  • United States v. Nicholson, No. 11–2169.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • July 12, 2013
    ...such a categorical approach, preferring instead the traditional totality of the circumstances test. See, e.g., United States v. Martin, 411 F.3d 998, 1001 (8th Cir.2005); Travis v. State, 331 Ark. 7, 959 S.W.2d 32, 34 (1998); Moore v. State, 986 So.2d 928, 935 (Miss.2008); State v. Heien, 3......
  • People v. Hinshaw, No. 46
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • September 1, 2020
    ...Cir.2007] ; Delfin–Colina, 464 F.3d at 396 ; United States v. Lopez–Moreno, 420 F.3d 420, 430 [5th Cir.2005] ; United States v. Martin, 411 F.3d 998, 1001 [8th Cir.2005] ; United States v. Sandridge, 385 F.3d 1032, 1036 [6th Cir.2004] ; United States v. Chanthasouxat, 342 F.3d 1271, 1275 [1......
  • State v. Brown, No. 2011AP2907–CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 16, 2014
    ...totality of the circumstances a reasonable officer could have believed that a law violation was occurring. See United States v. Martin, 411 F.3d 998, 1001 (8th Cir.2005) (a search is valid when “an objectively reasonable police officer could have formed a reasonable suspicion that [a defend......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT