Bloomberg News

Dog-Sniff Search Case Draws U.S. Supreme Court Scrutiny

January 06, 2012

(Adds description of legal issues starting in second paragraph.)

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether police need a search warrant before bringing a drug-sniffing dog to the front door of a house where officers suspect marijuana is being grown.

The justices today said they will hear an appeal from Florida officials seeking to revive the prosecution of a man arrested after police raided a Miami house and found marijuana plants.

The Florida Supreme Court said prosecutors couldn’t use evidence obtained in the house because officers violated the U.S. constitutional ban on unreasonable searches.

Miami-Dade police began focusing on the house after receiving a tip that Joelis Jardines was growing marijuana there. A month later, two detectives went to the front porch with a drug-sniffing dog, who “alerted” at the door. One of the detectives said he also noticed the smell of marijuana.

The officers then left to get a search warrant before entering the house and discovering the plants. Jardines was charged with trafficking of cannabis and stealing electricity to grow the marijuana.

The case is Florida v. Jardines, 11-564.

--Editors: Bob Drummond, Laurie Asseo

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.


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