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Name: United States v. Hoang
Case #: 05-10669
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/14/2007

A temporary detention of a package containing drugs which did not substantially affect its scheduled delivery did not violate appellant’s Fourth Amendment rights. Hoang entered a guilty plea to federal narcotics charges after methamphetamine was found in a package which was sent to him via Fed Ex. A drug sniffing dog had alerted to the package while it was in transit, and it was diverted while a search warrant was obtained. Hoang was arrested when the package was delivered. Affirming a conviction and sentence imposed by the district court, the appellate court held that no Fourth Amendment seizure occurs if a package is detained in a manner that does not significantly interfere in its timely delivery in the normal course of business; and that a ten-minute detention of the defendant’s package in a FedEx hold room without reasonable suspicion therefore does not implicate the defendant’s Fourth Amendment possessory interest in the package. Because neither a narcotics-detection dog sniff nor a Sheriff’s investigator’s visual inspection of the package implicated the defendant’s privacy interests, and because the dog’s alert created probable cause to support further diversion of the package following which a search was properly conducted pursuant to a search warrant, the court held that the district court properly denied the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence derived from the search of the package.