State v. Blagen - 20130203
Kyler Blagen appeals after he conditionally pled guilty to possession of marijuana with an intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Blagen's vehicle was stopped and he was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with an intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Blagen moved to suppress any evidence obtained during and after the traffic stop and to dismiss the case, arguing the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop his vehicle. At the suppression hearing, the arresting officer testified that she stopped Blagen's vehicle based on information she received from a person who works part-time for the Cass County Sheriff's Department, the person told her that he saw someone in a vehicle using a device commonly used for smoking marijuana, and he gave her the location and a description of the vehicle. Blagen argued the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop his vehicle because she did not observe any activity justifying the stop and she did not corroborate any of the information from the informant. The district court denied Blagen's motion to suppress and dismiss, finding the informant was credible and the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle based on the information from the informant. Blagen conditionally pled guilty and reserved the right to appeal the court's ruling on his motion to suppress.
On appeal, Blagen argues the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop his vehicle because the informant was not a police officer issuing a directive and the officer did not observe any illegal behavior or corroborate the informant's tip.