Traffic Stop; Sniff as Probable Cause; Alert; Final Indication/Response; Reliability Foundation
“So long as officers are able to articulate specific, reasonable examples of the dog’s behavior that signaled the presence of illegal narcotics, the [c]ourt will not engage itself in the evaluation of whether that dog should have an alternative means to indicate the presence of the drugs.” Citing US v. Holleman (8th Cir. 2014) 743 F.3d 1152, 1156. However, in this case the court held that handler was unable to articulate specific, reasonable examples of the PSD’s behavior that signaled the presence of illegal narcotics. Specifically, he testified he didn’t recall specific behaviors in this case nor did he recall a final indication or response.
There was no video in this case and apparently the report written by the handler did not refresh his recollection enough to testify about specifics. Accurate and detailed reports written while fresh in the memory will prevent this outcome in future.