July 17, 2013 South Carolina Court of Appeals published opinion

State v Moore 

Moore was topped for speeding. The officer issued a warning ticket and detained Moore until a drug dog arrived. It alerted and crack cocaine was found in the car. Moore moved to suppress the crack which was denied. He was convicted of drug trafficking. The panel, 2-1, reversed. The majority expressed concern that State listed all facts present as supporting a finding of reasnable suspicion. The panel held that flight indicators lost significance when Moore cooperated, that Moore’s drinking was not relevant as he was not impaired and the officer had no way to determine the amount of a roll of bills. The remaining facts-visiting relatives in a car rented by a third party while traveling from a known drug center along a known drug route , displaying nervousness and assuming the “felony position” when patted down-were insufficient under South Carolina Supreme Court precedent to create reasonable suspicion of a serious crime. Thus, the majority held the detention after the warning ticket was unreasonable and ordered the crack suppressed at the retrial. The dissent argued that giving proper deference to the trial court’s findings including the suspicious travel plans and the officer’s training and experience, the denial was supported by substantial evidence and should be affirmed.

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