Thirty-two minutes after he was stopped for a traffic violation, Morales and his passenger consented to an officer’s search of the car that yielded the methamphetamine. During the first 10 minutes after the stop, the officer questioned Morales and developed reasonable suspicion of drug trafficking. He next questioned Morales’s passenger for seven minutes and then called the El Paso Intelligence Center (“EPIC”), a national law enforcement database, which took another 15 minutes. The district court granted Defendant Morales’s motion to suppress 4.11 kilograms of methamphetamine. The district court said that the officer’s actions were reasonable up to the EPIC call, but the EPIC call unreasonably prolonged the detention. The Government appealed. The Tenth Circuit reversed, finding the district court erred in granting the motion to suppress. Specifically, the Tenth Circuit found that EPIC provides information on criminal history and border crossings, which the court found relevant to an officer’s drug-trafficking suspicions. Accordingly, the EPIC inquiry did not unreasonably expand the scope of the investigation.
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