US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
United States v. Tello
Opinion Date: May 21, 2019
Judge: Carl E. Stewart
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
Border Patrol agents may conduct a canine sniff to search for drugs or concealed aliens at immigration checkpoints so long as the sniff does not lengthen the stop beyond the time necessary to verify the immigration status of a vehicle's passengers. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a motion to suppress evidence found during an immigration-checkpoint stop. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, the court held that the canine sniff here did not prolong the immigration stop. In this case, defendant did not dispute that the stop lasted approximately 30 seconds where border patrol agents asked defendant about his citizenship, cargo, and travel, all of which were permissible. The court also noted that defendant gave valid consent to the search.
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