United States v. Davis, 112719 FED8, 18-2975

Docket Nº:18-2975
Party Name:United States of America Plaintiff - Appellant v. Dylan Anthony Davis Defendant-Appellee
Judge Panel:Before SMITH, Chief Judge, WOLLMAN and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:November 27, 2019
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

United States of America Plaintiff - Appellant


Dylan Anthony Davis Defendant-Appellee

No. 18-2975

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

November 27, 2019

Submitted: September 27, 2019

Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Sioux City

Before SMITH, Chief Judge, WOLLMAN and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.


Defendant/Appellee Dylan Davis was indicted on four counts of controlled substance and firearm offenses in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa after police discovered marijuana and methamphetamine in a rental car in which Davis was a passenger. The district court granted Davis's motion to suppress evidence found inside the car, finding Davis was detained without reasonable suspicion before an unlawful pretextual inventory. The United States appeals the district court's order granting Davis's motion to suppress. We have jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3731. Because we find Davis had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the vehicle, we reverse.

I. Background

At 9:17 p.m. on November 29, 2017, Sergeant Michael Kober ("Sgt. Kober") of the Iowa State Patrol initiated a traffic stop of a sports utility vehicle ("SUV") near Onawa, Iowa for speeding. Accompanying Sgt. Kober was a civilian "ride along." Sgt. Kober approached the driver's side of the SUV and found two men inside: Noah Pope, the driver, and Dylan Davis, who was apparently asleep in the passenger seat. Sgt. Kober informed Pope and Davis that he had stopped the vehicle for speeding and asked both men for their licenses and the vehicle registration.

Pope told Sgt. Kober that they did not have a registration for the vehicle because it was a rental car. Pope also reported that the rental agreement was not in their possession and that a friend rented the car for them in Georgia. The car was due to be returned the next day and neither man was listed on the rental agreement. As Pope rummaged through his backpack in an attempt to locate his driver's license, Sgt. Kober saw several small baggies in Pope's backpack. Sgt. Kober observed that Pope was nervous, shaky, and breathing heavily and suspected that he was trying to hide a baggie from view. By now Davis was awake but did not appear to be nervous. Davis did not have a driver's license but later wrote identifying information on a piece of paper.

Sgt. Kober noticed a long gun case in the back of the SUV and asked what was inside. Davis responded, a "nine-millimeter," and gave Sgt. Kober permission to examine the weapon. Sgt. Kober opened the case and observed a loaded pistol. When asked why he was traveling with a loaded weapon, Davis said he did not want to leave it in his own car at home. Sgt. Kober took the pistol, Pope's driver's license, and Davis's information to his patrol vehicle to request a check on each item from dispatch. Retrieving these items and examining the gun took about ten minutes. It took dispatch an additional six minutes to provide Sgt. Kober with verifications.

As they waited for dispatch Sgt. Kober told the "ride along" that he suspected Pope...

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