Mar 252011
 
 March 25, 2011  Court, Surveillance

Benjamin Yount reports:

It may be a little easier for police officers in Illinois to find drugs after the Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday OK’d drug sniff “set-ups”.

The opinion in People v. Bartelt was one of several handed down Thursday by the Illinois Supreme Court.

The Bartelt case centers on a 2006 traffic stop in Quincy. Police officers said Cheryl Bartelt was suspected of buying methamphetamine. Officers pulled over her car, and called for a drug-sniffing dog.

As they waited for the dog, officers told Bartelt to roll up the windows of her car and to then turn on her car’s fans. Once the dog arrived, it alerted officers to the presence of drugs. The police searched Bartelt’s car, found methamphetamine and arrested her for possession of methamphetamine, according to court records.

Read more on FOXIllinois.  The court split 4-3 in this case.  After reading the opinion, I do not see how this set-up should be viewed as lawful.  And if it doesn’t implicate the Fourth Amendment, then what about the Fifth Amendment? The police are basically ordering an individual – who is not under arrest but who has been seized in the traffic stop — to engage in behavior that makes it easier for the law to find evidence against them.   Do they tell the individual that they have the right not to cooperate with the set-up?  What do they do if the individual says, “No?”

Hopefully, some kind lawyers will explain this to me.  And yes, that means you, too, John Wesley Hall. 🙂

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