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State v. Angulo-Chavez

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

July 30, 2019

STATE OF ARIZONA, Appellee,
v.
JAVIER ANGULO-CHAVEZ, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Superior Court in Coconino County No. S0300CR201700928 The Honorable Dan R. Slayton, Judge

          Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Nicholas Chapman-Hushek Counsel for Appellee.

          White Law Offices PLLC, Flagstaff By Wendy F. White Counsel for Appellant.

          Judge James B. Morse Jr. delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Jennifer B. Campbell and Judge Maria Elena Cruz joined.

          OPINION

          Morse, Judge.

         ¶1 Javier Angulo-Chavez appeals his conviction and sentence for transportation of dangerous drugs (methamphetamine) for sale. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2 The evidence at trial, viewed in the light most favorable to supporting the convictions, [1] showed that on October 9, 2017, an officer with Arizona Department of Public Safety ("DPS") stopped Angulo-Chavez for speeding. Though the officer was not fluent in Spanish and Angulo-Chavez spoke little English, they were able to effectively communicate. After issuing a warning for the speeding violation, the officer asked Angulo-Chavez whether he would answer additional questions and he agreed. As they spoke, the officer became increasingly suspicious Angulo-Chavez was engaged in illegal activity. Eventually, Angulo-Chavez orally agreed to allow the officer to search his car and signed a Spanish-language DPS consent-to-search form.

         ¶3 The officer found approximately 18 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in sealed packages behind a panel in the trunk. An analyst later identified Angulo-Chavez's fingerprint on one of the packages. The State subsequently charged Angulo-Chavez with one count of transportation of dangerous drugs for sale, a class 2 felony.

         ¶4 Before trial, Angulo-Chavez moved to suppress the evidence and argued, in relevant part, that the officer unlawfully extended the traffic stop in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Following a suppression hearing in which the DPS officer and Angulo-Chavez testified, the superior court denied the motion to suppress.

         ¶5 A jury found Angulo-Chavez guilty as charged, and further found one aggravating factor. The superior court sentenced Angulo-Chavez to the presumptive term of 10 years' imprisonment. Angulo-Chavez timely appealed his conviction and sentence. We have jurisdiction pursuant to Article 6, Section 9, of the Arizona Constitution and Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") sections 12-120.21(A)(1), 13-4031, and -4033.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Motion to Suppress

         ¶6 Angulo-Chavez argues the superior court erred when it denied his motion to suppress. He asserts that his continued detention exceeded the purpose of the traffic stop in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. We review the court's ruling on a motion to suppress for abuse of discretion, consider only the evidence presented at the suppression hearing, and view the evidence in a light most favorable to sustaining ...


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