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Name: United States v. Noster
Case #: 07-50391
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/15/2009
Summary

Search and seizure of a truck was lawful where the truck was mistakenly reported as stolen. Noster obtained a truck and its attached camper through fraudulent loan applications, and then failed to make payments on them. A stolen vehicle report was entered into a statewide stolen vehicle database. Officers spotted the “stolen” truck and decided to impound it. In preparing to do so, officers discovered an explosive device in a backpack on the floor of the truck. Noster was arrested, and a warrant issued for Noster’s father’s home. The impounded truck was searched, as well as a storage unit, receipts for which were found in the truck. Officers found more explosive devices, three drums of gasoline, and several more weapons. The appellate court upheld the denial of Noster’s suppression motion, finding that even if the officer made a state-law error by reporting the truck as a stolen vehicle, such an error did not violate Noster’s Fourth Amendment rights. The officer had probable cause to believe that the truck was evidence of a crime, and the state-law error was not so objectively culpable as to require exclusion.