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US v. Hambrick, No. 10-1096

By FindLaw Staff on January 20, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Cocaine Possession Conviction Affirmed

In US v. Hambrick, No. 10-1096, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for possessing with intent to distribute at least five grams of cocaine base where 1) while the government concedes that some pretense existed surrounding the traffic stop at issue based on the suspended license due to the officers' reliance on the informant's tip, it is well-settled that any traffic violation provides a police officer with probable cause to stop a vehicle, even if the officer conducted the valid traffic stop as a pretense for investigating other criminal activity; and 2) the officers had probable cause to search the vehicle, irrespective of Gant, under the automobile exception.

As the court wrote:  "Angelo Hambrick entered a conditional plea of guilt to possessing with intent to distribute at least five grams of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B), reserving an appeal from the denial of his motion to suppress. The district court sentenced Hambrick to 120 months' imprisonment and eight years' supervised release."

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