Skip to content
Name: U.S. v. Bravo
Case #: 01-50159
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/08/2002
Subsequent History: Cert. den. 4/7/03

A border patrol officer felt defendant’s responses to routine questions was “overlyfriendly.” There was a space discrepancy in the floor of the toolbox in the bed of defendant’s truck and tapping it produced a solid sound, suggesting it held more than tools. Defendant was handcuffed for about 2 minutes while he was escorted to a security office. The officer told him he would be handcuffed only temporarily. The officer hammered on an access plate in the toolbox, damaging the toolbox and uncovering marijuana in the hidden compartment. The above factors supplied a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity permitting the search (the court did not include as a factor that a dog had alerted to the toolbox, because there had been no showing the dog was reliable). Also, defendant was merely detained, not arrested, as judged by the totality of circumstances.