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Name: United States v. Palos-Marquez
Case #: 08-50498
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/19/2010

An in-person tip by an informant provided reasonable suspicion for an investigatory stop of a vehicle. Affirming a criminal judgment for transporting illegal aliens, the appellate court held that an in-person tip by an unidentified informant can have significant indicia of reliability, and reaffirmed the holding in United States v. Sierra-Hernandez (9th Cir. 1978) 581 F.2d 760, that information from a citizen who confronts an officer in person to advise that a designated individual is committing a specific crime displays significant indicia of reliability. Because an unidentified UPS driver’s in-person tip had such indicia of reliability, and in light of the notoriety of the area for alien smuggling, the pickup’s high rate of speed, and the pickup occupants’ nervous demeanor, the court concluded that there was more than enough evidence to paint a picture that would create in the mind of a trained border patrol agent a reasonable suspicion that the vehicle’s occupants were engaged in criminal activity, and that the officers’ investigatory stop of the vehicle driven by the defendant therefore did not violate the Fourth Amendment.