US v. Hernandez-Mendez, 09-4511 - U.S. Fourth Circuit
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US v. Hernandez-Mendez, 09-4511

Motion to suppress in prosecution of defendant for possession of a firearm by an alien and possession of a firearm in a school zone

US v. Hernandez-Mendez, 09-4511, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress in a conviction of defendant for possession of a firearm by an alien and possession of a firearm in a school zone is affirmed.

In affirming, the court rejected defendant's claim that there was not reasonable suspicion to support her detention because she neither associated with known criminals nor lingered in a high-crime area.  Further, in light of defendant's actions, an officer concluded that she was more than casually connected to the group of males that he reasonably suspected was preparing for retaliation, and the decision to stop her was justified based on that reasonable suspicion.  Lastly, the court held that a reasonable officer generally, would have had reasonable suspicion that defendant possessed a weapon, thus justifying a frisk of her purse, and because the objective circumstances would have justified a frisk, the officer's impermissible subjective intent does not require suppression of the seized items.

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