U.S. District Court, WDNY
Reasonable Suspicion — Custodial Interrogation
United States of America v. Wiggins
Background: The defendant was charged with numerous counts of drug possession with intent to sell. The defendant moved to suppress physical evidence and statements taken at the time of his arrest. The defendant was arrested during a traffic stop. The arresting officer had asked him “where’s the weed?” and the defendant responded with “right here” and “it’s in my pocket.”
Ruling: The District Court denied the motion to suppress the physical evidence, but granted in part the motion to suppress his statements. The court found that reasonable suspicion existed to justify the arresting officer’s questions as he smelled marijuana when he approached the vehicle. However, the statements he made regarding his pistol permit were made while he was handcuffed and in the patrol car.
Jeffrey L. Ciccone and Steven G. Slawinski of the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the defendant; Charles E. Moynihan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the people