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150132 - People v Kenyon Lecedric Robertson

The People of the State of Michigan,
 
Joshua J. Miller
 
Plaintiff-Appellee,
 
v
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
 
 
(Oakland – Anderson, M.)
 
Kenyon Lecedric Robertson,
 
Timothy P. Flynn
 
Defendant-Appellant.
 

Summary

     Law enforcement officers received an anonymous tip that Leroy Jackson would be at the Pontiac bus station and would have heroin.  A team of officers conducted surveillance at the bus station, and they identified Jackson, who was travelling with defendant Keyon Robertson.  Jackson was arrested on an outstanding warrant, and searched, but no heroin was found.  Robertson was asked for identification, and he provided an ID that had incorrect information on it.  According to one of the officers, Robertson was acting nervous, and was eventually placed in handcuffs.  A canine unit examined the bags that Jackson and Robertson identified as belonging to them.  Although the dog “alerted” on the bags, no drugs were found in them.  Robertson did admit to the officer that he had smoked marijuana earlier in the day with Jackson.  The officer then searched Robertson, and discovered heroin.  Robertson was charged with possessing between 50 and 450 grams of heroin with the intent to distribute it.  Following a hearing, the trial court granted Robertson’s motion to suppress the heroin, and it subsequently dismissed the charge.  The prosecution appealed and, in an unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for reinstatement of the charge.  The panel held that, under the totality of the circumstances (specifically, the drug-sniffing dog’s alert on the luggage and Robertson’s admission that he smoked marijuana), probable cause existed to arrest Robertson.  As a result, the search performed was a valid search incident to arrest.  Robertson seeks leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.  On June 10, 2015, the Court directed the Clerk to schedule oral argument on whether to grant the application or take other action.