United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge
matter is before the Court upon Defendant Jamey Rolley's
motion to suppress evidence discovered during a police search
of his person and vehicle. [DN 16.] The Court held a
suppression hearing on May 18, 2017, receiving testimony from
the United States and hearing arguments by both parties. The
Court does not believe briefing is necessary on this matter.
Rolley's motion is ripe for adjudication. For the
following reasons, it is DENIED.
State Police Trooper Bob Winters was patrolling a stretch of
I-69 in Caldwell County, Kentucky on the evening of August
18, 2016. Around mile marker 75, he came upon a car stopped
on the northbound shoulder, still running with its lights on.
Winters had passed this area approximately five minutes
prior, and had not seen the vehicle. The trooper pulled over
and approached the open driver's side window. He shined
his flashlight inside and found the Defendant, Jamey Rolley,
asleep behind the wheel. Winters also noticed a four- to
six-inch long glass pipe in the driver's seat, sticking
out from beneath Rolley's right leg. The pipe contained a
burnt white residue. Based upon his training and experience,
Winters believed the pipe had been used to smoke either
methamphetamine or crack cocaine.
rapped on the car's door, startling Rolley awake. They
spoke for a few seconds, during which time Rolley appeared
confused and exhibited slurred speech. Winters ordered Rolley
out of the vehicle and immediately conducted a search of
Rolley's person. At this time, Winters testified he had
already decided to place Rolley under arrest based upon
Winters' suspicion that Rolley was under the influence of
narcotics and his possession of the glass pipe. During his
search, Winters discovered a small baggie of methamphetamine
in Rolley's front pants pocket. Winters handcuffed
Rolley, placed him in his cruiser, and then searched
Rolley's car. Inside, he discovered a firearm and
approximately 1.4 kilograms of methamphetamine in the
passenger floorboard. Rolley was charged federally with
possessing with the intent to distribute fifty grams or more
of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during a drug
trafficking crime. See [DN 1.]
now moves to suppress the evidence discovered by Trooper
Winters. He argues that Winters' search of his person
incident to arrest was improper because the possession of
drug paraphernalia is not an arrestable offense under
Kentucky law, and because Winters did not have probable cause
to believe Rolley was under the influence when he conducted
Fourth Amendment protects the “right of people to be
secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
unreasonable searches and seizures.” U.S. Const. amend.
IV. If the government violates a defendant's Fourth
Amendment rights, that defendant may move, pursuant to
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(b)(3)(C), to exclude
the evidence gathered against him. United States v.
Haygood, 549 F.3d 1049, 1053 (6th Cir. 2008). In seeking
suppression, “the burden of proof is upon the
defendant” to show that the search or seizure violated
“some constitutional or statutory right.”
United States v. Rodriguez-Suazo, 346 F.3d 637, 643
(6th Cir. 2003) (quoting United States v. Feldman,
606 F.2d 673, 679 n.11 (6th Cir. 1979)). The evidence must be
viewed in the light most favorable to the government.
United States v. Rose, 714 F.3d 362, 366 (6th Cir.
2013) (citing United States v. Beauchamp, 659 F.3d
560, 565 (6th Cir. 2011)).
sole issue before the Court is whether Trooper Winters had
probable cause to place Rolley under arrest, such that his
search of Rolley's person was reasonable under the Fourth
Amendment. The parties agree that pursuant to Rawlings v.
Kentucky, 448 U.S. 98, 111 (1980), it is immaterial that
Winters conducted his search immediately prior to formally
placing Rolley under arrest. They also seem to agree that, if
the arrest was valid, Winters' subsequent search of
Rolley's vehicle was permissible based upon Arizona
v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332, 347 (2009). The task before the
Court, then, is to determine whether Trooper Winters had
probable cause to arrest Rolley for driving under the
influence or possession of drug paraphernalia.
“state law defines the offense for which an officer may
arrest a person, . . . federal law dictates whether probable
cause existed for an arrest.” Kennedy v. City of
Villa Hills, 635 F.3d 210, 215 (6th Cir. 2011). The
Supreme Court has defined “probable cause” as the
“facts and circumstances within the officer's
knowledge that are sufficient to warrant a prudent person, or
one of reasonable caution, in believing, in the circumstances
shown, that the suspect has committed, is committing, or is
about to commit an offense.” Michigan v.
DeFillippo, 443 U.S. 31, 37 (1979). Probable cause
requires only the probability of criminal activity, not some
type of “prima facie” showing. See Illinois
v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983); Criss v. City of
Kent, 867 F.2d 259, 262 (6th Cir. 1988) (same).
“[P]robable cause determinations involve an examination
of all facts and circumstances within an officer's
knowledge at the time of an arrest.” Estate of
Dietrich v. Burrows, 167 F.3d 1007, 1012 (6th Cir. 1999)
(citing Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 162
(1925)). Keeping this standard in mind, the Court will turn
to the specific offenses Rolley is alleged to have committed.
Driving Under the Influence
Kentucky law, a person may not operate a motor vehicle while
under the influence of a controlled substance, including
cocaine and methamphetamine. See KRS
198A.010(1)(c)-(d). Pursuant to KRS 431.005(1)(e), officers
may arrest a person for driving under the influence without
first obtaining a warrant, so long as the officer has
probable cause to believe the person committed the offense.
Winters did not actually observe Rolley driving a vehicle.
Nevertheless, Winters unquestionably had probable cause to
believe Rolley had driven to the location where he was
ultimately arrested. When Winters came upon the scene, Rolley
was behind the wheel of a still-running car on the shoulder
of the interstate. The vehicle contained no other occupants.
Further, Winters had passed this stretch of interstate no
more than five minutes prior, but did not observe
Rolley's vehicle. It is difficult to conceive how else
Rolley could have arrived at the location except by ...