Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Harrison

May 26, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, APPELLEE,
v.
JONATHAN HARRISON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Defendant-appellant Jonathan Harrison appeals the judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (Mordue, C.J.) convicting him of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack). He appeals the denial of his motion to suppress the drugs, arguing that the officers found them only after unreasonably protracting an otherwise lawful traffic stop.

We affirm.

Per curiam.

Argued: May 19, 2010

Before: JACOBS, Chief Judge, MINER and WESLEY, Circuit Judges.

Defendant-appellant Jonathan Harrison appeals the judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (Mordue, C.J.) convicting him of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack). He appeals the denial of his motion to suppress the drugs, arguing that the officers found them only after unreasonably protracting an otherwise lawful traffic stop.

I.

Harrison was a backseat passenger in a car that was stopped on the night of November 2, 2006, because a license plate light was out. Marcos Villegas was driving, Ronisha McBride was the front passenger, and Lamar Watson was in the back with Harrison. Villegas pulled over to the highway shoulder. To avoid being hit by traffic, New York State Trooper Joseph Krywalski approached the passenger side, asked for the driver's license and registration, and ordered Villegas to step around to the back. As Villegas complied, Krywalski recognized him from two prior traffic stops in which Krywalski found drugs in Villegas's car (marijuana on the first stop, marijuana and cocaine on the second).

Standing at the back of the car, Krywalski asked Villegas where he was going, why, and with whom. Villegas responded that they were all returning to Utica from a wedding rehearsal in Rochester. Krywalski then went back to the three passengers to see if they would corroborate Villegas's account. McBride said that she and Villegas had traveled alone to Rochester, visited friends, picked up Harrison and Watson, and were returning together to Utica; nothing special took them to Rochester.

Krywalski queried Villegas again, who stuck to his story, and refused consent to search the vehicle. As they spoke (two to three minutes after the stop began), Trooper Timothy Ryan arrived at the scene. Two to three minutes after that, Ryan shined his flashlight into the car and spotted a marijuana cigarette on the floor next to McBride's foot. Krywalski arrested Villegas and McBride, ordered Watson and Harrison out of the car, and found a gun inside the center console. Krywalski directed the arrest of Harrison and Watson.

Everyone went to the police station. There, Krywalski saw Harrison shake his right leg until a bag of crack fell out of his pants.

Harrison was charged in federal court with possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack), in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A). The district court denied Harrison's pre-trial motion to suppress the crack as the result of an unlawful stop; the jury convicted; and the district court sentenced him to 240 months' imprisonment.

On appeal, Harrison concedes that the original traffic stop was lawful, but he argues that Krywalski's questioning as to the four individuals' travels unreasonably prolonged the stop and therefore resulted in an unlawful detention, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.