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Name: United States v. Flores-Montano
Case #: 04-50497
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/14/2005

Flores-Montano appealed from the denial of his motion to suppress 37 kilograms of marijuana found in the gas tank of his vehicle during a border search. He argued that inspectors unlawfully searched his gas tank in violation of 19 USC section 482 which he contended requires a good faith suspicion prior to search. The appellate court held that 19 U.S.C. §1581(a), not §482, governs vehicle searches at the border, and that because that statute contains no requirement that an officer have suspicion of wrongdoing in order to conduct such a search, the search of the defendant’s gas tank did not violate the statute.