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UNITED STATES v. LOYD

November 9, 1993

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
FLOYD LOYD, a/k/a L. MORRIS, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, SR.

 CHARLES R. NORGLE, SR., District Judge:

 Before the court is defendant Floyd Loyd's ("Loyd") motion to suppress evidence seized by the United States of America (the "Government") and any statements made by Loyd. *fn1" For the following reasons, the motion is denied.

 On December 15, 1992, John Manna ("Manna"), an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA"), observed Loyd board a flight at John Wayne Airport, Santa Ana, California. *fn2" Manna knew that Loyd was an associate of narcotics trafficker under investigation. The flight was bound for Chicago, Illinois on Delta Flight 1488 and scheduled to arrive at Chicago O'Hare International Airport ("O'Hare") later that day at 11:58 pm. Manna learned from a Delta employee that Loyd was flying under the name of L. Morris. He further learned that Loyd had checked two bags bearing claims numbers 887831 and 887832.

 Subsequently, Manna contacted the DEA Transportation Group at O'Hare and related the information he had learned about Loyd. Manna also supplied a detailed physical description of Loyd: that he is a black male, approximately sixty-years old and six-foot-one-inch in height, that he was wearing a grey baseball cap, blue jeans, blue wind-breaker, and white hightop sneakers, and that he was carrying a black carry-on bag.

 On December 17, 1992, at 12:01 am, Delta Flight 1488 arrived at O'Hare. Task Force Agents Benvenuti ("Benvenuti"), Tom Granias ("Granias"), and Pam Triner ("Triner") (collectively "officers") observed a black male passenger fitting the description of Loyd alight from Flight 1488. After Loyd deplaned, he looked around the concourse area and proceeded to the baggage pickup area. As Loyd proceeded to the baggage claim area, he repeatedly glanced over his shoulder. At the baggage area, Loyd picked up two brown soft-sided bags.

 As Loyd cleared the security gate at the baggage area, the officers, who were in plain clothes, approached Loyd and identified themselves as Chicago police officers. Following the identification, Benvenuti asked Loyd if he would speak with her and her partners. Loyd agreed to speak with the officers. After Loyd gave his permission, Benvenuti asked Loyd if he would show her his plane ticket. Loyd responded that he would and produced his plane ticket. The plane ticket was for a one-way flight from Santa Ana, California to Chicago, Illinois through Salt Lake City, Utah for a passenger name L. Morris. Benvenuti asked Loyd if his name is L. Morris and Loyd responded in the affirmative. The ticket was returned to Loyd.

 After Benvenuti returned the ticket, she inquired as to the purpose of Loyd's visit to Chicago, the duration of his visit, and the address of the place he will be staying in Chicago. Loyd responded that he came to Chicago to visit his aunt for two days, but he was unable to answer as to where his aunt lived.

 The officers told Loyd that they were Task Force Agents working with the DEA's Airport Interdiction Unit and were investigating narcotics trafficking. Thereafter, Benvenuti requested permission from Loyd to search his bags. Loyd gave his permission to search the carry-on bag, but refused as to the two brown bags. As a result of the search of the carry-on bag, Benvenuti discovered Loyd's real name by reading his medication box and his hotel information. Benvenuti asked if his name is Floyd Loyd and he indicated "yes." Benvenuti asked Loyd why he was travelling under the name of L. Morris. Loyd answered that he had troubles with his driver's license. Initially, however, Loyd had claimed that he had no identification.

 Benvenuti again requested Loyd's permission to search the two brown bags. The claim numbers for the bags matched the numbers supplied by Manna. When Loyd still declined to give his permission, the officers expressed their intentions to detain the bags for a "dog sniff" test to determine the presence of narcotics. Benvenuti informed Loyd that he could either wait until the sniff test was completed or leave the area. Loyd indicated that he did not wish to remain at O'Hare during the sniff test. One of the officers gave him a phone number to call and a receipt for the bags. The officers did not detain Loyd or his carry-on bag. Loyd left the area after receiving the receipt and the phone number.

 The officers took the brown bags to the DEA office at O'Hare. A Task Force Agent Robert Herr ("Herr") was at the office with his narcotics canine, Brandy. Brandy is trained to sniff luggage, among other things, in order to detect the odor of cocaine and other controlled substance. During Brandy's service as a narcotics canine, she detected the presence of controlled substance more than twenty-five times and has a 90% accuracy rate.

 Herr placed the bags among three other containers and commanded Brandy to "fetch dope." Brandy sniffed each item as instructed. When Brandy sniffed the detained bags, she indicated the odor of controlled substance.

 Subsequent to the positive indication of controlled substance present inside the brown bags, Triner prepared an affidavit and obtained a search warrant to open the bags. The bags were opened and searched pursuant to a warrant. The search resulted in recovering twenty-four kilograms of 90% pure cocaine. Each bag ...


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