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Police and Law Enforcement Home  > Blog  >  MV Searches Getting Harder in NJ Blog

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MV Searches Getting
Harder in NJ
Police and Law Enforcement News
Sunday, March 30,  2014
  1:27 p

The extinction of the warrantless motor vehicle search grew closer last week after the decision of a New Jersey appellate court was released. 

From the Daily Record:

The case started when Officer Robert Ferreiro stopped Henderson for driving a vehicle with excessively tinted windows. The officer then discovered that Hendersn had a suspended driver’s license and was unable to produce an insurance card, court papers say.

Ferriero, who described Henderson as “extremely nervous, sweating,” also saw in plain view tobacco shavings that he believed were consistent with the hollowed-out portions of a cigar that often are used to roll marijuana cigarettes, according to court papers.

Ferriero did not detect the presence of marijuana but noticed that gloves that were on the passenger seat when he first stopped Henderson were gone when he returned after running a check on Henderson and the vehicle.

Ferriero asked Henderson for permission to search the vehicle, but Henderson refused. After issuing Henderson summonses, Ferriero impounded the vehicle because he had “a reasonable suspicion to request that there was some sort of criminal activity occurring,” court papers say.

The officer then called for a K-9 unit to perform an exterior sniff of the vehicle for the presence of drugs. The dog, which arrived an hour after the initial stop, indicated a presence of drugs by scratching on the passenger door. When Brown arrived at police headquarters to pick up the vehicle, Ferriero asked him for permission to conduct a search, which Brown granted.

The search, court papers said, found heroin inside the gloves that Ferriero had originally seen in the vehicle. The gloves were found in the glove compartment.

Henderson was indicted on a charge of possessing heroin with intent to distribute. Henderson filed a motion to suppress the heroin because there had been insufficient legal basis to impound the car or call for a dog sniff.

Pursel agreed with Henderson and the Appellate Division agreed with Pursel.

The appellate court ruled that the officer’s “hunch was correct, but it was nothing more than a hunch” and was not sufficient to warrant the search or a dog sniff. The court wrote that Ferreiro lacked “reasonable and articulable suspicion” to ask for consent to search the vehicle or impound it.




















MV Searches Getting Harder in NJ








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