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People v. Johnson.

2024 CO 47. No. 23SA293. Scope of an Investigatory Stop—Searches and Seizures—Drug-Detection Dogs.

June 17, 2024

In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court considered the People’s challenge to a district court’s order suppressing evidence that police discovered in Johnson’s vehicle after stopping him for two traffic violations. The court suppressed the evidence based on its determination that the officers unlawfully prolonged their investigatory stop of Johnson by waiting for a drug-detection dog to arrive to conduct a sniff of his car for illicit drugs.

The Court concluded that the district court’s findings regarding the nature of Johnson’s seizure were clearly erroneous. Because the officers developed probable cause to arrest Johnson, and in fact arrested him, they no longer needed to justify his detention as part of the original investigatory stop. Accordingly, the Court reversed the district court’s suppression order and remanded for the court to determine whether probable cause existed to search the vehicle following Johnson’s arrest.

The full opinion is available at

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