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Name: U.S. v. Carranza
Case #: 00-50607
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/03/2002
Subsequent History: Cert. den. 11/18/02

Appellant was a passenger in a truck which was stopped for carrying drugs across the border. Because the truck smelled of gasoline, Border Patrol officers brought in drug-detecting dogs who alerted to the truck for the presence of drugs. 92 pounds of marijuana was found inside the gas tank. The driver of the truck lied about his alien status. Later, he said during an interrogation that appellant knew about the drug smuggling but was not involved in this particular run; it was a “test run” for him to determine whether he would smuggle drugs for the same organization in the future. Appellant made similar statements during his own interrogation. In a subsequent suppression motion, appellant argued that his arrest was not based on probable cause, and therefore his statements should have been suppressed. The motion was denied and he was convicted of importation of marijuana. Here, the appellate court affirmed. From the totality of the circumstances, there was probable cause to believe that appellant was involved in drug smuggling. Since the arrest was based on probable cause, and appellant’s statements were made following Miranda warnings, the motion to suppress was properly denied.