Monday, May 14, 2007

U.S. v. Hoang (9th Cir. - May 14, 2007)

Don't ship your meth via FedEx. Or, if you do, don't try to mask it with coffee. They're, like, way onto that trick by now, dude. It'll only cause them to get the dog for a sniff.

Oh, yeah. Paying the FedEx fee in cash. Omitting telephone numbers for the sender and the recipient. Using a non-existent address for the shipper. All of these are telltale signs. They all prompt a dog to take a whiff. The cops aren't totally stupid, my friend. Criminals, by contrast . . . .

All of this is going to happen more frequently, by the way, now that Judge Wardlaw has squarely held that detaining a package doesn't consistitute a search so long as it can make its delivery date. Hence, if we can pull a dog in quickly, we can take a sniff, and if probable cause results therefrom, we can then take a peek. So when you ship drugs in the mail (or via FedEx), you should expect at least a drug-sniffing dog. Ditto, by the way, if you ship anything else. So be careful whenever you put anything odiferous in the mail.

Mind you, in footnote five, Judge Wardlaw drops a hint that the sender's contract with FedEx might be a good place to look for an argument that even temporary diversions might be impermissible. But no such argument is made here, so Hoang's out of luck. And, hence, in prison.