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Name: United States v. Marquez
Case #: 04-30243
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/07/2005

A random additional screening procedure at an airport does not violate the Fourth Amendment. The defendant in this case was randomly selected for secondary screening as he passed through an airport security check prior to boarding a plane. The additional screening consisted of a handheld wand scan in addition to the standard walk-through scan and the x-ray of luggage. The handheld wand alerted at defendant’s hip. When the security officer attempted to determine what had caused the alert, the defendant swatted his hand away and denied permission to determine the source of the alert. The security officer had felt a hard brick-like substance that he feared might be C4 explosives. The defendant was ultimately taken to a private screening room, and eventually four bricks of cocaine were discovered strapped to his person. The Ninth Circuit found no Fourth Amendment violation, noting that a secondary scan in an airport security line is constitutionally permissible where passengers are randomly selected for such further searching.