TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A court ruling in an Arizona case says law enforcement officers may not extend a lawful traffic stop because a passenger refuses to identify himself unless there’s reasonable suspicion the passenger committed a crime.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Friday overturns a trial judge’s refusal to suppress evidence found when Alfredo Enos Landeros was searched after being arrested.
A police officer arrested Landeros after he refused to identify himself and exit a car that the officer stopped on the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation.
The officer found bullets in Landeros’ pockets, and he was eventually convicted of possession of ammunition by a felon. But the appeals court’s ruling said the evidence couldn’t be used because the stop no longer was valid by the time the search was conducted.