'Free air' sniff leads to meth charge
NEBRASKA CITY – Matthew Steele, 34, of Nebraska City is charged with possession of methamphetamine following a March 9 traffic stop.
A police K9 provided probable cause for a search. Police say they found a modified plastic bottle with meth residue.
Steele told officers he had no knowledge of the contents of the pocket behind the driver’s seat.
Evidence of a dog’s satisfactory performance in a certification or training program can itself provide sufficient reason to trust his alert.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a free air sniff is not a Fourth Amendment search when the dog is legally present. Police K9s are not legally present at a person’s home during a “knock-and-talk” police encounter, but the dog is legally present on roadways and non-residential parking lots.