FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
MAINE [Hon. George Z. Singal, U.S. District Judge]
J. Cyr for appellant.
M. Lipez, Assistant U.S. Attorney, with whom Richard W.
Murphy, Acting U.S. Attorney, was on brief, for appellee.
Lynch, Stahl, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
Clark appeals from the district court's denial of his
motion to suppress drug evidence found on his person during a
traffic stop. Clark claims that after Officer Christopher
McGoon stopped a vehicle in which Clark was a passenger for a
traffic violation, McGoon unreasonably extended the duration
of the traffic stop and thereby violated his rights under the
Fourth Amendment. Clark also challenges the district
court's ruling that the drug evidence found during the
resulting patdown search, which the government concedes was
unlawful, did not need to be excluded because of the
inevitable discovery exception to the exclusionary rule.
After careful consideration, we affirm.
20, 2015, McGoon, a Saco Police Department officer, stopped a
vehicle for erratic driving and for running a red light. At
the time of the stop, McGoon had been with the Saco Police
Department for approximately one year and had previously
served in the military. Megan Maietta was driving the vehicle
and Clark was her sole passenger.
requested identification from Maietta, and she provided her
Maine driver's license and a damaged copy of her
car's registration. McGoon then asked Clark if he had any
identification. Clark said he did not have a Maine
identification, although he claimed he had had an
identification issued by the state of Georgia, but he did not
have it with him because he had lost it. McGoon asked Clark
how long he had lived in Maine, and Clark answered five
years. Clark identified himself as "Joseph Leo
Clark." Clark volunteered that his birthdate was August
returned to talking with Maietta. According to McGoon, if
Clark thereafter had remained silent, he would have made no
further inquiry into Clark's identity. However, Clark
interrupted the conversation with Maietta and voluntarily
provided McGoon with his social security number and age.
McGoon heard the first three numbers of Clark's social
security number as "256, " but recordings of the
stop show that Clark actually said a number beginning with
"257." Clark said he was twenty-six years old,
which was inconsistent with the birthdate he had provided
shortly before. Below, McGoon testified that Clark was
"speaking softly and looking straight ahead rather than
turning to look at him, " and that he was having
"considerable difficulty hearing [Clark], particularly
when there was passing traffic, and had to ask him several
times to speak up." United States v. Clark, No.
2:15-CR-187-GZS, 2016 WL 3945131, at *2 (D. Me. July 19,
2016), aff'd, No. 2:15-CR-187-GZS, 2016 WL
4532062 (D. Me. Aug. 29, 2016).
minutes after the initial stop, McGoon went to his cruiser to
verify Maietta's and Clark's identities. McGoon
quickly verified Maietta's information, but his
electronic search of the database found no match for Clark.
Based on the lack of a match, as well as Clark's failure
to have Maine identification despite having been a resident
for five years, McGoon became concerned that Clark was trying
to conceal his identity.
minutes after the initial stop, McGoon returned to the car to
confirm Clark's information. McGoon spent one minute
asking Clark for additional information about where he lived
and any past contact he may have had with police. During this
follow-up questioning, Officer Adam Linden arrived at the
scene. After one minute of questioning, Clark told McGoon
that his birthdate was August 25, 1986. Surprised by the
different birthdate, McGoon asked Clark to confirm the date a
third time. Clark became agitated and said, in a louder
voice, "August 5, of '86." Clark, 2016
WL 3945131, at *2.
thereafter, Officer Robyn Stankevitz radioed McGoon and
Linden with a partial match for a Joseph Eugene Clark, a
resident of Scarborough, Maine with a birthdate of August 25,
1983 and with three active arrest warrants, who fit
Clark's general description.
received this information, McGoon and Linden returned to the
car once again and asked Clark to repeat his identifying
information. Clark provided the same social security number
he provided earlier, but this time, McGoon heard Clark begin
with the numbers "257." Still mistakenly believing
Clark had previously offered a social security number
beginning with "256, " McGoon accused Clark of
providing false information and told him that he was going to
be detained "until we can figure this out."
Clark, 2016 WL 3945131, at *3. McGoon ordered Clark
out of the car and handcuffed him. Neither officer frisked
Clark or noticed ...