State v. Maffey

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[Cite as State v. Maffey, 2021-Ohio-2460.] IN THE COURT OF APPEALS TWELFTH APPELLATE DISTRICT OF OHIO CLERMONT COUNTY STATE OF OHIO, : Appellant, : CASE NO. CA2020-08-045 : OPINION – vs – 7/19/2021 : MICHAEL P. MAFFEY, : Appellee. : CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM CLERMONT COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. 2019 CR 00921 Mark J. Tekulve, Clermont County Prosecuting Attorney, and Nicholas Horton, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellant. W. Stephen Haynes, Clermont County Public Defender, and Robert F. Benintendi, Assistant Public Defender, for appellee. HENDRICKSON, J. {¶1} Plaintiff-appellant, the state of Ohio, appeals the decision of the Clermont County Court of Common Pleas granting a motion to suppress filed by defendant-appellee, Michael P. Maffey. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse the judgment of the trial court. {¶2} In September 2019, Maffey was indicted for aggravated possession of drugs. Clermont CA2020-080-45 The charges stemmed from an agent's stop of a vehicle in which Maffey was a passenger. During the stop, the agent searched both the vehicle and Maffey, and discovered methamphetamine under the vehicle's passenger-side visor. Maffey pleaded not guilty to the charges. {¶3} In January 2020, Maffey moved to suppress the evidence discovered as a result of the officer's stop and search of the vehicle, as well as his search of Maffey's person. In his motion, Maffey argued the officer improperly extended the traffic stop, and that the resulting search of the vehicle and his person were not supported by probable cause. {¶4} At the suppression hearing, Agent Robert Bailey with the Clermont County Sheriff's Office testified that he had been employed with the Sheriff's Office since 1998 and became involved with the canine program in 2004. On October 21, 2018, Agent Bailey was doing "drug interdiction work," and was parked near the intersection of Inez Avenue and Airport Road in Tate Township. The agent described the "general area" as a "high drug area." {¶5} While parked near the intersection, Agent Bailey observed a vehicle commit two traffic violations during its turn at the intersection's stop sign. Specifically, the driver failed to timely use his turn signal and the vehicle had a loud exhaust system hanging from the bottom of the vehicle. Agent Bailey stated he made several traffic stops throughout his shift that day, and that it was common for him to initiate traffic stops due to such traffic violations, regardless of whether the violations occurred in high traffic areas or not. {¶6} After observing the traffic violations, Agent Bailey initiated a traffic stop at 5:01 p.m. The agent then retrieved the driver's identification, and noticed the passenger, Maffey, was not wearing a seatbelt. At that point, Agent Bailey asked Maffey for his identification, to which Maffey responded that his name was Michael Davis and his date of birth was March 29, 1960, but he could not recall his social security number. Agent Bailey testified -2- Clermont CA2020-080-45 "it appeared to [him] * * * that [Maffey] was being reluctant or misleading about his – – …

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