Skip to content
Name: United States v. Sahanaja
Case #: 04-50504
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/08/2005

The appellate court affirmed the district court’s order denying a motion to suppress evidence arising from a warrantless search of a package mailed to the defendant’s residence from Canada. The court held that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents conducted a valid extended border search of the package pursuant to their authority under 19 U.S.C. § 482, and did not violate the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights in so doing, because there was reasonable cause to suspect that the package contained merchandise imported contrary to law, given (1) a discrepancy between the label on the package and what the postal carrier could discern about its contents from handling it, (2) an odor coming from the package, (3) the fact that people who handled the package became nauseated, (4) the defendant’s girlfriend’s declination to open the package in the presence of postal employees, and (5) multiple inquiries about the package by people who were not the addressee and who could not produce identification from the addressee.