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People v. Lee

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

February 5, 2018

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
WAN FUNG LEE, Defendant-Appellee. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JACKY YAO CHUAN XIONG, Defendant-Appellee.

          Rule 23 order filed December 20, 2017

          Motion to publish allowed February 5, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Henry County, Nos. 15-CF-54, 15-CF-55; the Hon. Jeffrey W. O'Connor, Judge, presiding.

          Matthew Schutte, State's Attorney, of Cambridge (Patrick Delfino, Lawrence M. Bauer, and Mark A. Austill, of State's Attorneys Appeal Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

          Larry Vandersnick, of Cambridge, and Matthew Paulson, of Rock Island, for appellees.

          Panel JUSTICE SCHMIDT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Holdridge and McDade concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          SCHMIDT JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 The State appeals from the circuit court's ruling granting defendants' motions to quash arrest and suppress evidence. The State argues that the dog sniff conducted on defendants' vehicle was constitutionally permissible due to defendants' consent. Separately, the State argues that the circuit court admitted improper evidence at the hearing on defendants' motions. We affirm.

         ¶ 2 FACTS

         ¶ 3 The State charged defendants, Wan Fung Lee and Jacky Yao Chuan Xiong, with unlawful cannabis trafficking (720 ILCS 550/5.1(a) (West 2014)), unlawful possession with intent to deliver cannabis (id. § 5(g)), and unlawful possession of cannabis (id. § 4(g)). Each defendant, in turn, filed a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. Those motions were heard on October 7, 2015.

         ¶ 4 Sergeant Clint Thulen testified that he pulled over defendants' vehicle on March 9, 2015, for failure to signal a lane change. A video recording of the traffic stop was introduced into evidence.

         ¶ 5 The video begins as Thulen commences the traffic stop. Thulen approaches the passenger side of the vehicle and leans into the window. Approximately 1½ minutes later, the driver of the vehicle, later identified as defendant Lee, exits the vehicle and walks to the front of Thulen's squad car. Thulen sits in the driver's seat of the squad car and soon thereafter Lee sits in the passenger seat. Thulen radios in defendants' information. At the seven minute mark of the video recording, a second officer, Sergeant Brian Strouss arrives at the scene.

         ¶ 6 Once Strouss has approached the squad car, Thulen says to him, "I couldn't smell it, but (unintelligible) probably full of weed." Thulen then asks Lee:

"The duffel bags full of weed?
LEE: What?
THULEN: Are the duffel bags in the back full of weed? (Lee shakes his head from side to ...

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