While investigating a noise complaint at an apartment complex, an officer observed James Legette standing on a common porch. The officer approached and Legette partially opened a door leading into his area. The officer then smelled burnt marijuana, entered the porch area, and identified himself as an officer. As Legette began to walk away, the officer requested identification. Legette responded that he had to retrieve his identification from the apartment, and the officer replied that he would have to accompany him. Legette entered the apartment and the officer followed. The officer noticed a bulge in Legette’s sweatshirt.
After entering the apartment, Legette presented his identification and the officer radioed a request to check for outstanding arrest warrants. Legette them removed his sweatshirt and asked a woman who was in the apartment to place it in the bedroom. The officer then seized the sweatshirt from the bedroom and took Legette, who appeared anxious, outside. Obviously, the officer did not have a search warrant.
The arrest warrant check was negative, and Legette did not consent to a search of the sweatshirt. The officer had a police dog sniff the sweatshirt. A “metallic” noise could be heard when the dog moved the sweatshirt. The officer then discovered a loaded handgun in the sweatshirt. Continue reading ›