from the Superior Court in Cochise County. Nos. CR201400526
and CR201400527. The Honorable Karl D. Elledge, Judge.
M. McIntyre, Cochise County Attorney, By Roger H. Contreras,
Deputy County Attorney, Bisbee, Counsel for Appellant.
Suagee, Cochise County Public Defender, Bisbee, Counsel for
Larson, Cochise County Legal Defender, By Bruce Houston,
Assistant Legal Defender, Bisbee, Counsel for Appellee
Judge Vásquez authored the opinion of the Court, in
which Chief Judge Eckerstrom and Judge Miller concurred.
Appellees Loni Kambitsch and Nicholas Kjolsrud were charged
with multiple drug-related offenses based on drugs and drug
paraphernalia seized from their vehicle after a traffic stop.
Relying, in part, on Rodriguez v. United States, __
U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 1609, 191 L.Ed.2d 492 (2015), the trial
court granted Kambitsch and Kjolsrud's motion to suppress
the drug evidence, finding continued detention by a
sheriff's deputy to conduct a drug-detection-dog
investigation after the completed traffic stop was not based
on reasonable suspicion. The state dismissed the cases and
filed these appeals pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-4032(6). The
state argues the court erred when it concluded the deputy
conducting the stop lacked reasonable suspicion to expand the
scope of the detention. The state also contends the
good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies because
the deputy relied on previously binding precedent when
conducting the search. For the following reasons, we affirm.
and Procedural Background
We view the evidence in the light most favorable to upholding
the trial court's suppression order. State v.
Vera, 196 Ariz. 342, ¶ 3, 996 P.2d 1246, 1247 (App.
1999). On an early morning in September 2014, Cochise County
Sheriff's Deputy Adam Werkheiser stopped the car being
driven by Kambitsch because its license plate was not
illuminated. Werkheiser approached the passenger-side window
and asked Kambitsch for her driver license, vehicle
registration, and proof of insurance. He asked Kjolsrud, the
sole passenger, for his identification. Kambitsch and
Kjolsrud gave Werkheiser the requested items. Werkheiser then
asked if there were any weapons in the vehicle and "
specifically . . . if there was anything illegal within the
passenger compartment." Kjolsrud said they had a rifle
in the trunk, but both occupants stated there was nothing
illegal in the car.
Werkheiser returned to his patrol vehicle and performed a
records check, which revealed no issues with Kambitsch's
driver license, but both Kambitsch and Kjolsrud had
outstanding, " non-extraditable" warrants. He also
remembered Kjolsrud " had been involved in a [prior]
drug offense case." By that time, Deputy Michael
McGeoghegan arrived at the scene as " a back-up
officer." Although Werkheiser testified he " could
have concluded the stop at that time" because he "
knew the warrants were non-extraditable" he nevertheless
asked Kambitsch to step out of the car and brought her near
" the passenger fender of [his] vehicle."
Werkheiser testified Kambitsch made no eye contact as they
walked to his patrol vehicle, and, without prompting, she
quickly stated that she was aware of the warrant and "
[t]he police were always harassing her" about it.
Kambitsch also emptied her pockets and stated, " See, I
don't have anything on me" and " I'm
clean." Werkheiser " thought it was odd because
[he] hadn't asked her" a question yet and Kambitsch
Werkheiser then asked for consent to search her vehicle.
Kambitsch replied: " I know my rights. I don't have
to let you search. I know what my fiancé is going to
say. He's going to say, No, and also if you want to
search you can get a dog." Werkheiser testified he did
not interpret this statement as giving consent. He then
radioed for Deputy Robert Watkins to bring his drug-detection
dog to the scene. The dog alerted to the vehicle, and during
a subsequent search, deputies found ninety-four grams of
methamphetamine, as well as tinfoil and a spoon covered in a
" black gooey substance."
A grand jury indicted both Kambitsch and Kjolsrud for
conspiracy to commit possession of a dangerous drug for sale,
transportation of a dangerous drug for sale, possession of a
dangerous drug for sale, and two counts of possession of drug
paraphernalia. Kambitsch filed a motion to suppress, which
Kjolsrud joined, arguing that although the initial stop was
justified, Werkheiser lacked reasonable suspicion to prolong
the stop. A little more than a month before the suppression
hearing, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision
in Rodriguez, __ U.S. at __, 135 S.Ct. at 1614-16,
holding that law enforcement officers may not " extend
an otherwise-completed traffic stop, absent reasonable
suspicion, in order to conduct a dog sniff." Kambitsch
and Kjolsrud informed the trial court of Rodriguez
on the day of the suppression hearing, and the state filed a
response the following day arguing that, even if a
constitutional violation had occurred, the good-faith
exception to the exclusionary rule applied and, therefore,
the evidence should not be suppressed at trial.
After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court granted the
motion to suppress, " conclud[ing] that by detaining
Kambitsch and Kjolsrud after conducting a records check and
warrants check, Werkheiser prolonged the traffic stop beyond
the time reasonably required to complete his task, i.e.,
issue the citation/repair order" and, " [m]oreover,
the prolongation was not supported by independent reasonable
suspicion." The state then moved to dismiss the charges
without prejudice and initiated these ...