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United States of America v. Damon Boyd

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


November 15, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DAMON BOYD, USMS 05889068 DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Cathy Bissoon

ORDER

On May 15, 2012, Defendant Damon Boyd was indicted on charges of drug conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846. (Doc. 1 at 1-2). On September 4, 2012, Defendant Boyd filed a motion to suppress drug evidence that was seized from his automobile during a traffic stop on February 1, 2012.*fn1 (Docs. 46 and 47). A hearing on this matter was held on October 26, 2012.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures." U.S. Const. amend. IV. Generally, for a search or seizure to be considered "reasonable" it must be effectuated by a warrant based on probable cause. See, e.g., United States v. Robertson, 305 F.3d 164, 167 (3d Cir. 2002) (citing Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 356-57 (1967)). One exception to the warrant requirement is that an automobile may be searched without a warrant merely based on the existence of probable cause to believe that the vehicle contains contraband. See, e.g., Pennsylvania v. Labron, 518 U.S. 938, 940 (1996).

During the course of the hearing on this motion, the government presented the testimony of Shane Countryman, the officer who conducted the search that is the focus of Defendant Boyd's motion. Based on his testimony, this Court concludes that probable cause existed at the time of the search that contraband was located in the automobile. In light of the automobile exception to the warrant requirement, Defendant Damon Boyd's motion to suppress (Doc. 46) is DENIED.*fn2

IT IS SO ORDERED.

CATHY BISSOON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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