April 2, 2015
STATE OF DELAWARE,
MICHAEL CHANDLER, Defendant
March 23, 2015.
Corrected: April 14, 2015
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Defendant's Motion to Suppress: GRANTED.
Rosen, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Wilmington, DE,
Attorney for the State.
S. Woloshin, Esquire, Wilmington, DE, Attorney for the
Jurden, President Judge.
the Court is the defendant's Motion to Suppress. For the
reasons that follow, the defendant's motion is GRANTED.
7, 2014, Trooper Matthew Radcliffe of the Delaware State
Police was conducting a routine traffic patrol in an unmarked
patrol vehicle on Delaware Route 1 in New Castle County,
Delaware. At 3:47 p.m., Trooper Radcliffe
observed a 2014 black Dodge Charger bearing a Pennsylvania
license plate traveling 48 miles per hour in a 25 miles per
hour zone. Trooper Radcliffe activated the emergency
equipment on his patrol vehicle and conducted a motor vehicle
stop on the right shoulder of Route 1. As Trooper Radcliffe
approached the vehicle on the passenger side, he observed the
defendant, Michael Chandler, as the driver and sole occupant.
According to Trooper Radcliffe, Chandler appeared extremely
nervous. Trooper Radcliffe told Chandler that he was speeding
and asked for his license, insurance, and registration. As
Chandler produced the requested documents,
Chandler's hands were visibly shaking, his chest was
moving up and down due to his heavy breathing, he avoided eye
contact, and he fumbled with his license. Trooper Radcliffe
asked Chandler about his trip. Chandler hesitantly stated
that he was from Philadelphia and was headed to Virginia to
see family. Trooper Radcliffe did not ask any further
questions about Chandler's travels. Trooper Radcliffe
testified that he saw four cell phones scattered throughout
the center console of Chandler's vehicle.
Following this interaction, Trooper Radcliffe returned to his
vehicle to call for backup assistance and conduct routine
computer checks. Trooper Radcliffe called for backup because
Chandler was so nervous. While waiting for backup, Trooper
Radcliffe conducted a routine computer check which indicated
that Chandler's license was valid and that the vehicle
was rented under the name of Michael Chandler.
18 minutes after the initial stop, Trooper Macauley of the
Delaware State Police arrived as backup. Immediately upon
arrival, Trooper Radcliffe and Trooper Macauley discussed the
circumstances of the traffic stop. Trooper Radcliffe told
Trooper Macauley that Chandler's hands were shaking a lot
when he reached for his wallet, he was driving a rental
vehicle, he was from Philadelphia and going to visit family
in Virginia, and that he had an alias of " Robert
Page." Trooper Macauley asked Trooper Radcliffe if there
were " any air fresheners or anything," and Trooper
Radcliffe said he did not see any. At that point,
Chandler's criminal history check came back showing that
Chandler had an extensive criminal history, including weapons
and drug trafficking charges. Trooper Radcliffe cautioned
Trooper Macauley, " be careful, he is so nervous it is
making me nervous," before they both approached the
defendant's vehicle. Trooper Radcliffe approached on the
driver's side of the vehicle and Trooper Macauley
approached on the passenger side. Trooper Radcliffe asked
Chandler to exit the vehicle and asked to see Chandler's
hands as he was exiting. Trooper Radcliffe told Chandler to
stand at the left rear of the vehicle. Trooper Radcliffe
asked Chandler if he had any weapons and Chandler responded
" No." Trooper Radcliffe advised Chandler he was
going to conduct a pat down for officer safety. Trooper
Radcliffe patted down Chandler and found no weapons.
completing the pat down, both officers stood with Chandler
behind the vehicle. Trooper Radcliffe told Chandler that he
was pulled over for speeding and asked, " what is up
with the two names, do you have another name?" When
Chandler responded " uhh," Trooper Radcliffe asked,
" how about Page, is that you as well?" Chandler
responded, " Yes." Trooper Radcliffe asked Chandler
what his real name was, and he responded " Michael
Chandler." Again, Trooper Radcliffe inquired about the
name of " Page" and Chandler replied, " that
was an alias." Trooper Radcliffe then asked, " so
Page is an alias and Chandler is your real name?"
Chandler responded, " Yes."
Radcliffe asked Chandler why he was so nervous in his vehicle
and Chandler said there was no reason. Trooper Radcliffe
again inquired about the name of " Page," and asked
Chandler when he last used the name " Page."
Chandler explained that the last time he used the name Page
was in 1998. Trooper Radcliffe asked Chandler how long he has
used the name " Chandler," and Chandler answered,
" all my life." In response to more questioning,
Chandler admitted that he had been in trouble with the law in
the past under the name of Page. Trooper Radcliffe asked
Chandler, " is anything illegal in the vehicle that you
tend to travel with like guns, drugs, knives, bombs, used
currency, anything crazy like that?" Chandler responded,
" No." Trooper Radcliffe continued questioning
Chandler as follows:
Trooper Radcliffe: Do you mind if I check real quick to get
you on your way?
Chandler: No I don't--I don't--I do mind.
Trooper Radcliffe: You do mind?
Chandler: Because I was pulled...
Trooper Radcliffe: [inaudible]
Chandler: I do mind because I'm getting pulled over for
speeding [gestures towards his vehicle] . . .
Trooper Radcliffe: Okay.
Chandler: and now that--
Trooper Radcliffe: Well I've just explained all
those--the two names, the nervousness, and all that--all that
Chandler: I'm not nervous.
Trooper Radcliffe: --makes me suspicious alright and
that's the reason why I am asking.
Chandler: I'm not nervous.
Trooper Radcliffe: So I'm--I'm respecting you, okay?
I want to know if I have your right--your consent for me to
look in your vehicle due to all the stuff I explained to you?
Chandler: No sir.
Trooper Radcliffe: No? Okay.
Chandler: Because I'm on my way to go see my family--
Trooper Radcliffe: Uh huh.
Chandler: I've been in trouble in 1998--
Trooper Radcliffe: Okay.
Chandler: and now I'm being pulled over--
Trooper Radcliffe: Okay.
Chandler: for something in 1998--
Trooper Radcliffe: Okay.
Chandler: Do you understand what I'm saying? I get--I
Trooper Radcliffe: Simple question. Yes or no. You are saying
Chandler: No. Yes.
Trooper Radcliffe: Alright have a seat in your vehicle,
I'll be right with you okay.
Chandler returned to his vehicle (as instructed by Trooper
Radcliffe) and began to open the driver's door, Trooper
Macauley stopped Chandler and directed him to stand by the
rear passenger side tire. Meanwhile, Trooper Radcliffe
returned to his patrol vehicle and called for a narcotic
canine unit (" K9" ).
Chandler leaned back against his vehicle, Trooper Macauley
began to question him. After about two and a half minutes,
Chandler turned around, faced his vehicle, folded his arms,
and leaned on the trunk. Trooper Macauley turned his back to
Chandler and walked toward Trooper Radcliffe's patrol
vehicle. For about 2 minutes, with his back still to
Chandler, Trooper Macauley informed Trooper Radcliffe that
Chandler had no idea where he was going in Virginia. Trooper
Macauley explained that Chandler said he was going to
Norfolk, Virginia to visit his cousin but could not provide
the cousin's name or say if the cousin was male or
female. Trooper Macauley told Trooper Radcliffe that he told
Chandler, " you are nervous--you have no valid answer to
any of the questions-- [inaudible] so we are just going to
call the K9 now."
Radcliffe then confirmed with dispatch that Trooper Nicholas
Ronzo was on the way with his K9 partner. Trooper Macauley
re-approached Chandler and stood next to him. Chandler
remained leaning on the trunk. Several minutes later, Trooper
Radcliffe approached Chandler and the following exchange
Trooper Radcliffe: Alright man, gonna let you know what is
going on alright. We have a narcotic K9 coming. [inaudible]
Okay? Why you sweating?
Chandler: . . . I'm being asked a whole bunch of
questions and it don't make no sense . . .
Trooper Radcliffe: Okay.
Chandler: you pulled me over for speeding . . .
Trooper Radcliffe: Okay.
Chandler: [inaudible] --and now you trying to make it
Trooper Radcliffe: Alright look I'm just trying to be
respectful. I'm letting you know what's going on
okay. It is what it is. Alright?
Chandler: [ nods head ]
Trooper Radcliffe: When was your last criminal charge?
Chandler: I choose not to answer no more questions.
Trooper Radcliffe: Huh?
Chandler: I choose not to answer no more questions.
Trooper Radcliffe: You choose not to answer any more
Chandler: You know everything like--[gestures toward patrol
vehicle]--I mean everything --you know--
Trooper Radcliffe: Alright well you had conflicting
statements to me okay and I'm just trying to make sense
of it. That's all.
Chandler: It's not conflicting. You pulled me over--
Trooper Radcliffe: Look I'm not--I'm not here to
debate with you--I'm just telling you. Okay. If you
don't want to speak any further that's fine. Alright.
Radcliffe then returned to his patrol vehicle and Chandler
remained leaning on the trunk with his arms folded. While
waiting for the K9 to arrive, the officers had several
conversations next to the patrol vehicle. Despite the fact
that Chandler remained in the same position, Trooper Macauley
said, " I honestly think he is going to run."
Trooper Radcliffe responded, " I do too." One of
the officers then said, " he tried getting back in the
car." At that point, the officers placed a tire strip
under the rear right tire.
40 minutes after the initial traffic stop, Trooper Radcliffe
approached Chandler and explained that the K9 " is
crazy" so Chandler needed to stand behind the patrol
vehicle. Trooper Radcliffe asked Chandler who he was going to
visit in Virginia, and Chandler said he did not want to
answer any more questions. When Trooper Ronzo arrived, his K9
partner gave a positive indication for the odor of controlled
substances coming from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle
revealed heroin and cocaine in the trunk.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion to suppress evidence seized during a warrantless
search or seizure, the State bears the burden of establishing
that the challenged search or seizure comported with the
rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, the
Delaware Constitution, and Delaware statutory
law. The burden of proof on a motion to
suppress is proof by a preponderance of the
moves to suppress all evidence obtained by the State as a
result of the
May 7, 2014, roadside detention and subsequent search of his
vehicle. Chandler maintains that once Trooper Radcliffe
ascertained that Chandler possessed valid driving
credentials, a speeding citation should have been issued and
Chandler should have been released. Instead, Trooper
Radcliffe improperly extended the duration and scope of the
initial detention in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the
United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 6 of the
State concedes that the investigation was extended beyond the
traffic stop, but argues that the police had reasonable,
articulable suspicion of criminal activity sufficient to
justify expanding the detention to wait for a K9 to arrive.
Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States
Constitution, and Article I, Section 6 of the
Delaware Constitution, protect individuals from unreasonable
searches and seizures. Under the Fourth Amendment, a traffic
stop by the police is a " seizure" of the vehicle
and its occupants. Consequently, a traffic stop must be
justified at its inception by a reasonable suspicion of
criminal activity, and the scope of the stop must be
reasonably related to the stop's initial
police officer who observes a traffic violation has probable
cause to stop the vehicle and its driver, however, "
[t]he scope and duration of the detention must be reasonably
related to the initial justification for the stop."
 In other words, the scope of the
detention must be carefully tailored to its underlying
justification. Further, the detention must be
temporary and last no longer than reasonably necessary to
effectuate the purpose of the stop, at which point the
legitimate investigative purpose of the traffic stop is
completed. " [A]ny investigation of the
vehicle or its occupants beyond that required to complete the
purpose of the traffic stop constitutes a separate seizure
that must be supported by independent facts sufficient to
justify the additional intrusion." 
police prolong a suspect's road side detention in order
to investigate other possible crimes, it becomes a second
detention. The second detention is
unconstitutional unless it is based on specific and
articulable facts which, taken together with all rational
inferences, raised an objective
suspicion of criminal behavior.
Reasonable suspicion must be based upon more than a
hunch. Delaware courts define reasonable
suspicion as an " officer's ability to point to
specific and articulable facts which, taken together with
rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant the
intrusion."  A determination of reasonable
suspicion " must be evaluated in the context of the
totality of the circumstances as viewed through the eyes of a
reasonable, trained police officer in the same or similar
circumstances, combining objective facts with such an
officer's subjective interpretation of those facts."
 " The Court must judge the
facts under an objective standard and, thus, a police
officer's subjective opinion that suspicious
circumstances are ongoing is insufficient."
Initial Traffic Stop & Pat Down
case, the initial traffic stop constituted a seizure of
Chandler for Fourth Amendment purposes, but the seizure was
supported by probable cause because Trooper Radcliffe
detected Chandler driving at 48 miles per hour in a 25 miles
per hour zone.
determined that the stop was lawful, the Court must next
address whether the detention was reasonably related in scope
and duration to the initial justification for the stop.
During a traffic stop, the police may request the occupants
of a car to the exit the vehicle. Recognizing the
importance of officer safety during a traffic stop, a police
officer may protect himself by patting down the
suspect. However, " in order to justify
a pat down, an officer must have reasonable, articulable
suspicion that the person is presently armed and
dangerous."  The officer must " point to
specific and articulable facts which, taken together with all
rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant the
intrusion."  Generally, " a pat down is
justified based on the nature of the suspected crime, a
sudden reach by the individual, a bulge, or a history with
the specific individual." 
Monroe v. State, the Delaware Supreme Court held
that the defendant's prior criminal history, by itself,
was insufficient to establish reasonable articulable
suspicion. However, in Monroe, that
history, coupled with the defendant's nervous demeanor
and refusal to answer the officer's question, was
sufficient to establish the necessary reasonable, articulable
suspicion to conduct a pat down.
present case, under the totality of the circumstances, the
finds that Trooper Radcliffe had reasonable, articulable
suspicion that Chandler was armed and presently dangerous
based on Chandler's extreme nervousness, lack of eye
contact, extensive narcotics and weapons criminal history,
alias, and use of a rental vehicle. Therefore, the traffic
stop was reasonably expanded to conduct a pat down for
weapons to ensure officer safety.
Radcliffe testified that he typically does not call for
backup assistance during routine traffic stops, but he did so
in this instance because based on his training and
experience, Chandler exhibited more nervousness than that of
an average person during a traffic stop. According to Trooper
Radcliffe, Chandler's hands were visibly shaking, his
chest was visibly moving due to his heavy breathing, he
avoided eye contact, and he fumbled with his license. After
running routine computer checks, Trooper Radcliffe found a
discrepancy in Chandler's identification because of an
apparent alias. Trooper Radcliffe also discovered that
Chandler had an extensive criminal history that included a
weapons charge. Trooper Radcliffe waited for backup to arrive
before re-approaching Chandler and told Trooper Macauley to
be careful because Chandler's nervousness was making him
nervous. Thus, the circumstances justified a pat down for the
limited purpose of officer safety.
Duration and Scope of the Traffic Stop
discussed above, the duration and scope of the traffic stop
must last only as long as reasonably necessary to effectuate
the purpose of the stop, at which point the legitimate
investigative purpose of the traffic stop is
completed. During a traffic stop, 11 Del.
C. § 1902 permits police to question a driver about
his identity, where he is coming from, where he is going, and
the reason for his trip, and these questions are not beyond
the scope of a reasonable investigation. Thus, the valid
traffic stop for speeding permitted certain investigative
actions, including a check of Chandler's driving
credentials, criminal background check, and inquiries as to
his name, address, and destination. It was not
unlawful for Trooper Radcliffe to ask follow up questions
about Chandler's nervousness or prior use of an alias in
an effort to confirm or dispel his suspicions.
being said, however, an officer's inquiries are not
limitless. During a traffic stop, an officer is not entitled
" to conduct an unrelated criminal investigation absent
some other criminal suspicion."  According to the
Delaware Supreme Court, " an officer's observation
of a traffic violation does not confer the right to abandon
or never begin to take action related to the traffic laws
and, instead, to attempt to secure a waiver of Fourth
Amendment rights . . . ."  Generally, once the
officer has issued a citation or warning, the vehicle must be
released. And, even if " the traffic stop
is not formally terminated by the issuance of a citation or
warning, the legitimating raison d'etre
of the stop may evaporate if its pursuit is unreasonably
attenuated or allowed to lapse into a state of suspended
animation."  Accordingly, the Court must conduct
a fact-intensive inquiry in each case to determine whether a
given detention is " unreasonably attenuated."
Arizona v. Johnson, the United States Supreme Court
held that " [a]n officer's inquiries into matters
unrelated to the justification for the traffic stop . . . do
not convert the encounter into something other than a lawful
seizure, so long as those inquiries do not measurably extend
the duration of the stop."  Although questions
unrelated to the initial justification for the stop might not
per se require reasonable suspicion or consent to
further question, the Delaware Supreme Court has made clear
that such inquiries must not measurably extend the duration
of the stop.
once Trooper Radcliffe asked Chandler if there was any
contraband in his vehicle, the traffic stop was extended into
an investigative detention that exceeded the justifying
purpose of the stop (i.e. speeding). At this point, the
traffic stop ended and it became a second detention that was
required to be based on specific and articulable facts which,
taken together with all rational inferences, raise an
objective suspicion of criminal behavior.
this standard, the Court concludes that the purpose and
justification for the traffic stop ended when Trooper
Radcliffe asked Chandler if there was any contraband in his
vehicle, and the police prolonged the traffic stop solely to
investigate other possible crimes.
Constitutionality of the Extended Detention
the traffic stop was extended, the question thus becomes
whether Trooper Radcliffe had reasonable suspicion that
Chandler had committed, was committing, or was about to
commit a crime to justify prolonging the traffic stop until
the K9 arrived. The State argues that reasonable suspicion
existed because Chandler had multiple cell phones in plain
view, gave inconsistent answers, was unable to provide
details about his destination, was extremely nervous, had an
alias, had an extensive criminal history, and was driving a
careful review of the traffic stop video does not support the
State's argument that Chandler's multiple cell
phones, inconsistent answers, or inability to provide details
about his trip formed the basis of Trooper Radcliffe's
reasonable suspicion. Only those facts known to a police
officer prior to a seizure may be part of the reasonable
suspicion analysis. The reasonableness of official
suspicion must be measured by what the officer knew
before they seized the defendant. " An
illegal stop cannot be justified by circumstances that arose
after its initiation." 
Trooper Radcliffe's conversation with Trooper Macauley
when Trooper Macauley first arrived at the scene, Trooper
Radcliffe never mentioned that he observed multiple cell
phones in Chandler's vehicle, and Trooper Radcliffe never
mentioned or questioned Chandler about having multiple cell
State maintains that Chandler's inconsistent answers and
inability to provide details about his trip were part of the
reasonable suspicion analysis. But the officers did not begin
to question Chandler about the details of his trip to
Virginia until after the subsequent detention had
already begun. During Trooper Radcliffe's initial
conversation with Chandler, he asked Chandler where he was
going, and Chandler replied that he was going to Virginia to
visit family. At no point, however, did Trooper Radcliffe
request more information from Chandler regarding his trip to
Virginia. After Trooper Radcliffe asked Chandler for consent
to search the vehicle, Trooper Radcliffe returned to his
patrol vehicle and called for a K9. It was at this time that
Trooper Macauley directed Chandler to stand next to the
vehicle and Chandler allegedly gave inconsistent answers in
response to questions about his trip.
to the State's argument, the evidence shows that Trooper
Radcliffe did not know Chandler had multiple cell phones
until after the K9 arrived and the vehicle was
searched. Likewise, any inconsistent answers were elicited
after the traffic stop ended and the subsequent
detention had begun. Because subsequently obtained evidence
is not permitted to justify a prior seizure and search, these
factors cannot be part of the totality of the circumstances
supporting the subsequent detention.
question is whether, under the totality of the circumstances,
Trooper Radcliffe possessed a reasonable articulable
suspicion that criminal activity was afoot based on
Chandler's: (1) extreme nervousness; (2) prior use of an
alias; (3) criminal history; and (4) use of a rental vehicle.
not unusual for a motorist to exhibit signs of nervousness
when confronted by a law enforcement officer. Delaware courts
have consistently held that " inconsistent answers and
nervousness without some
other more tangible, objectively articulable indicators of
criminality, such as driving with a suspended license,
failure to provide proof of ownership of vehicle, or the
palpable odor of alcohol, drugs or [masking agents], do not
support a finding of reasonable suspicion."
 While a person's nervous
behavior may be relevant, generally courts are " wary of
the objective suspicion supplied by generic claims that a
[d]efendant was nervous or exhibited nervous behavior after
being confronted by law enforcement officials."
to Trooper Radcliffe, after he conducted a pat down for
officer safety and found no weapons, Chandler was still
extremely nervous. Trooper Radcliffe testified that Chandler
began to sweat profusely and became so nervous that he was
stuttering his words. Trooper Radcliffe's testimony about
Chandler's extreme nervousness is undermined by the
video, which shows that Chandler was fully cooperative with
Trooper Radcliffe, answered all of Trooper Radcliffe's
questions responsively, and was not acting in an evasive
manner. After Trooper Radcliffe asked for consent to search
the vehicle, Chandler can be seen wiping sweat from his
forehead; however, this occurred after the traffic
stop was extended and, therefore, is not properly part of the
after Trooper Radcliffe conducted the pat down, the video
shows that officer safety was no longer a concern. When
Chandler refused to consent to a search of the vehicle,
Trooper Radcliffe told Chandler to get back in his car.
Trooper Macauley, however, directed him to stand by the
vehicle. The officers left Chandler alone multiple times with
their backs turned, and Chandler remained in the exact same
position, obeyed all of the officer's orders, and never
attempted to flee.
Court also finds the reasonableness of any suspicion
associated with Chandler's prior use of an alias to be
minimal under the totality of the
circumstances. With regards to the alias, Chandler
had a valid license and rental agreement under the name of
Michael Chandler, not his prior alias of " Robert
Page." Trooper Radcliffe repeatedly questioned Chandler
about the alias and Chandler provided a consistent and
reasonable answer--that he had been in trouble in the past
using the alias of Page but had not used it since 1998. There
is no evidence that any of this information was untruthful.
officer's knowledge of a driver's criminal history
can be a factor when determining whether an officer has
reasonable suspicion to detain an individual. However,
such history, by itself, is insufficient to establish
reasonable suspicion. Chandler admitted that he had
been in trouble with the law in the past, was not evasive,
and there is no evidence that he provided any untruthful
answers. Rather, Chandler was candid about his prior criminal
history and stated multiple times that it seemed like he was
being detained because of his criminal history.
criminal history is just one of many factors the Court must
that have cited nervousness, criminal history, and/or use of
a rental vehicle, " as factors supporting a finding of
reasonable suspicion have done so only in conjunction with
other more tangible, objectively articulable indicators of
criminality."  For example, in United States v.
Finke, the use of a rental vehicle and prior criminal
history was coupled with other compelling suspicious behavior
a finding of reasonable suspicion. In Finke, the
Seventh Circuit found, under the totality of the
circumstances, there was reasonable suspicion that the
vehicle was transporting drugs because: (1) the car was a
rental; (2) it had been driven to California and back in five
days; (3) the passenger compartment appeared as if the
occupants had been living in it, i.e., making a straight trip
without stopping; (4) extreme nervousness; (5) defendant
appeared to be feigning grogginess in an attempt to avoid
answering questions; and (6) the defendant had prior drug
convictions. Similarly, in United States v.
Contreras, the Tenth Circuit found reasonable suspicion
existed based on the defendant's nervousness, her
purported travel plans to drive 2,300 miles roundtrip for a
one-day visit, the use of a rental car, and presence of food
wrappers from a California restaurant when the defendant
claimed to be driving to Nebraska from Las
United States v. Brugal, officers stopped the
defendant at a drug check checkpoint off of Interstate 95 in
South Carolina. In lieu of a vehicle registration,
the defendant produced a rental agreement indicating that the
defendant rented it in Miami, that the vehicle was to be
returned to Miami in a week, and that the defendant had a New
York City address. While reviewing the defendant's
driver's license and rental agreement, the officer asked
the defendant why he exited the interstate and where he was
going. The defendant responded that he
needed gas and was driving to Virginia Beach. During
this questioning, the officer noticed that the vehicle had a
quarter of a tank of gas and three pieces of luggage in the
rear cargo area. The defendant was in full compliance
with the terms of the rental agreement, however, the officer
instructed the defendant to pull over to the shoulder of the
road. The officer's decision to
instruct the defendant to pull his vehicle over was based on
the following circumstances: (1) Interstate 95 is a major
thoroughfare for narcotics trafficking; (2) the defendant
exited Interstate 95 after passing two well-lit decoy drug
checkpoint signs; (3) the defendant rented a vehicle in
Miami; (4) the defendant had a New York State driver's
license and the rental agreement indicated that he had a New
York City address; (5) a common practice of drug couriers is
to fly to Miami, acquire drugs, rent a vehicle, and drive
north; (6) the defendant indicated that he was searching for
gas even though his vehicle had a quarter of a tank of gas;
(7) the defendant just passed an exit with several well-lit
twenty-four hour gas stations but he was looking for a gas
station in an area that showed no signs of activity at 3:30
a.m.; (8) the defendant was traveling at 3:30 a.m.; and (9)
there was an insufficient amount of luggage. Following
the defendant's consent to search, the officers
discovered drugs in the vehicle.
Fourth Circuit held in Brugal, under the totality of
the circumstances, the officer possessed reasonable suspicion
to instruct the defendant to pull his vehicle over to conduct
a further investigation. The Court noted that "
standing alone, there is nothing atypical about an individual
from New York City renting a vehicle in Miami."
 However, the use of a rental vehicle
when considered in conjunction with the officer's other
observations such as unusual travel itinerary, traveling
northbound on a known drug courier at 3:30 a.m.; traveling in
a rental vehicle from a known source city for drugs; exiting
the interstate after passing two decoy drug checkpoint signs;
and the defendant's implausible story that he was looking
for gas, created reasonable suspicion permitting the
continuation of the traffic stop.
United States v. Digiovanni, the Fourth Circuit
distinguished Brugal, finding that the police did
not have reasonable suspicion to prolong a traffic stop
because the defendant's unusual travel itinerary was not
keyed to other " compelling suspicious behavior"
 In Digiovanni, the Court
held that unusual travel itinerary, driving a rental car from
a " source state" on I-95 a known drug courier, and
nervousness in their totality, did not support a finding of
reasonable suspicion because " [s]uch facts, without
more, simply do not eliminate a substantial portion of
innocent travelers." 
in State v. Passerini, the Court of Appeals of
Nebraska found, under the totality of the circumstances,
police officers did not have reasonable suspicion to justify
a prolonged detention. In that case, the officer
observed that the defendant was nervous, abruptly exited the
interstate, was lawfully operating a rental vehicle properly
registered in his name, and had a drug-related criminal
history. The Court noted that " [t]he
fact that [the defendant] was driving a rental vehicle is
perfectly consistent with law-abiding activity, and
furthermore, the matching names on the driver's license
and rental agreement, coupled with the consistency of [the
defendant's] story as to the timeframe of the trip . . .
should have dispelled, rather than created, further
the mere fact that Chandler had a criminal history and was
operating a rental vehicle is insufficient to differentiate
this defendant from the large body of innocent rental car
drivers, or to lead a reasonable officer to conclude that
drug activity was afoot. Chandler was driving a rental
vehicle and indicated that he was on his way to Virginia to
visit family. Chandler had a valid Pennsylvania driver's
license, the vehicle was rented in Pennsylvania, and the
vehicle was rented in Chandler's name. Such information
corroborated Chandler's statement that he was traveling
from Philadelphia to Virginia to visit family.
is nothing inherently suspicious about the use of a rental
vehicle to travel
from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Virginia. " It is
possible for factors, although insufficient individually, to
add up to reasonable suspicion, but it is impossible for a
combination of wholly innocent factors to combine into a
suspicious conglomeration unless there are concrete reasons
for such an interpretation."  Glaringly absent in
this case is any evidence that the rental vehicle was being
used in conjunction with other more tangible indicators of
criminal activity. For instance, Trooper Radcliffe testified
that it was suspicious that Chandler was taking a "
prolonged" trip to Virginia, in a rental vehicle, with
no luggage. However, Trooper Radcliffe never inquired about
Chandler's exact destination in Virginia, the duration of
his trip, or whether he had any luggage in his trunk.
Moreover, Trooper Radcliffe did not note when the vehicle was
rented or when or where it had to be returned.
considering the " whole picture" painted by the
facts in this case, the Court concludes that a person of
reasonable caution would not be warranted in believing that a
nervous demeanor, prior use of an alias in 1998, use of a
rental vehicle, and prior criminal history reasonably
indicates that Chandler had committed, was committing, or was
about to commit a crime. Trooper Radcliffe lacked the
reasonable suspicion necessary to support the prolonged
detention and, therefore, the evidence obtained was the
result of a subsequent unjustified detention and must be
on the totality of the circumstances, Trooper Radcliffe
simply had a hunch, not a reasonable articulable suspicion,
that Chandler was engaging in some sort of illegal actively,
probably drug related. The fact that his hunch proved to be
correct does not and cannot, under the United States
Constitution and Delaware Constitution, legitimatize the
seizure and subsequent search.
case turns on the constitutional rights provided to all
citizens by the framers of the United States Constitution and
of our Delaware Constitution to be free from unreasonable
searches and seizures. " The judicial branch of
government is obliged to enforce these rights for the
protection of all citizens," even when the end result
involves suppressing evidence.
foregoing reasons, Defendant's Motion to Suppress is
Trooper Radcliffe was specifically
patrolling for motor vehicle violations such as operators
using a handheld electronic device, seatbelt violators,
registration violations, equipment violations, and vehicles
exceeding the posted 25 miles per hour speed limit.
A video from Trooper Radcliffe's dash
board camera recorded the traffic stop.
Chandler produced his Pennsylvania
driver's license and documentation for the vehicle,
including a rental agreement.
Trooper Radcliffe testified that, based on
his training and experience, Chandler's level of
nervousness was higher than the average nervousness of a law
abiding citizen during a routine traffic stop.
 Hunter v. State, 783 A.2d 558,
560 (Del. 2001) (" Despite some arguable earlier
confusion in the Delaware case law over which party bears the
burden of proof on a motion to suppress evidence seized
during a warrantless search, the rule in Delaware
should now be clear. The State bears the burden of
 State v. Abel, 2011 WL 5221276,
at *2 (Del. Super. 2011), aff'd, 68 A.3d 1228
(Del. 2012), as amended (Jan. 22, 2013).
U.S. CONST. amend IV, XIV.
DEL. CONST. art. I, § 6.
 Caldwell v. State, 780 A.2d 1037,
1045 (Del. 2001) (citing United States v.
Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 880-81, 95 S.Ct. 2574, 45
L.Ed.2d 607 (1975)).
 Id. at 1046-47. Delaware has
codified the Terry v. Ohio standard for
investigatory stops and detentions in 11 Del. C.
§ 1902. Pursuant to § 1902, " [a] peace
officer may stop any person abroad, or in a public place, who
the officer has reasonable ground to suspect is committing
has committed or is about to commit a crime, and may demand
the person's name, address, business abroad and
destination." The term " reasonable ground"
has the same meaning as " reasonable and articulable
suspicion." Cummings v. State, 765 A.2d 945,
948 (Del. 2001).
 Holden v. State, 23 A.3d 843,
847 (Del. 2011).
 State v. Miliany-Ojeda, 2004 WL
343965, at *3 (Del. Super. 2004) (citing Florida v.
Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 500, 103 S.Ct. 1319, 75 L.Ed.2d 229
 Id. (citing Caldwell,
780 A.2d at 1046-50).
 Caldwell, 780 A.2d at
 Cummings, 765 A.2d at
 State v. Huntley, 777 A.2d 249,
255 (Del. Super. 2000).
 Holden, 23 A.3d at 847 (Del.
2011) (citing State v. Henderson, 892 A.2d 1061,
1064-1065 (Del. 2006)).
 Id. (citing Jones v.
State, 745 A.2d 856, 861 (Del. 1999)).
 Miliany-Ojeda, 2004 WL 343965,
at *3 (citing Harris v. State, 806 A.2d 119 (Del.
 Loper v. State, 8 A.3d 1169,
1174-75 (Del. 2010) (citing Pennsylvania v. Mimms,
434 U.S. 106, 98 S.Ct. 330, 54 L.Ed.2d 331 (1977)).
 Holden, 23 A.3d at 849.
 State v. Abel, 68 A.3d 1228,
1233 (Del. 2012), as amended (Jan. 22,
 Holden, 23 A.3d at 847 (quoting
Henderson, 892 A.2d at 1064-65).
 Id. at 850.
 Monroe v. State, 913 A.2d 570,
*6, at *2 (Del. 2006) (TABLE).
 Caldwell, 780 A.2d at
 See Loper, 8 A.3d at
1173 (holding that asking a passenger questions about his
identity and running a background check are not beyond the
scope of a routine traffic stop).
 Huntley, 777 A.2d at 255
(citing Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, 439-40,
104 S.Ct. 3138, 82 L.Ed.2d 317 (1984)); 11 Del. C.
 Jenkins v. State, 970 A.2d 154,
158 (Del. 2009).
 Caldwell, 780 A.2d at
 Id. at 1047.
 Id. at 1048.
 Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U.S.
323, 325, 129 S.Ct. 781, 172 L.Ed.2d 694 (2009).
 Murray v. State, 45 A.3d 670,
675 (Del. 2012), as corrected (July 10, 2012)
(" for something to be measurable it need not be large .
. . ." ).
 Cummings, 765 A.2d at 948. In
Pierce v. State, the Delaware Supreme Court held
that an officer's question about whether there was any
contraband in the vehicle during a traffic stop did not
constitute a second investigative detention because the trial
court found that it was a question the officer routinely
asked as part of a traffic stop. 19 A.3d 302 (Del. 2011). The
present case is distinguishable. In Pierce, the
officer asked the occupants of the vehicle if they had
any contraband only a few minutes after the initial traffic
stop and contemporaneously with other routine questions about
the occupants' identification and travels. The occupants
were still in the vehicle and the officer had not yet
returned to his patrol vehicle to run routine computer
checks. In the instant case, Trooper Radcliffe's
additional inquiry about whether there was any contraband in
the vehicle did not occur while Trooper Radcliffe was
conducting routine questioning. Rather, this question
occurred approximately twenty three minutes after the initial
stop--after Trooper Radcliffe had already conducted routine
computer checks, conducted a pat down, and asked questions
about the defendant's identification, destination, and
 Jones v. State, 745 A.2d 856,
874 (Del. 1999).
 Id. (" If an officer
attempts to seize someone before possessing reasonable and
articulable suspicion, that person's actions stemming
from the attempted seizure may not be used to manufacture the
suspicion the police lacked initially." ).
 Woody v. State, 765 A.2d 1257,
1263 (Del. 2001).
 See supra Part II. After
Trooper Radcliffe conducted the pat down, he only followed up
with questions about Chandler's alias and nervousness.
Further, when Trooper Radcliffe asked for permission to
search the vehicle his stated reasoned was because
Chandler's two names and nervousness made him suspicious.
There was no mention of multiple cell phones.
 Miliany-Ojeda, 2004 WL 343965,
at *6 (citing Huntley, 777 A.2d at 256).
 Id. at *5 (quoting United
States v. Jones, 269 F.3d 919, 928-29 (8th Cir.
 See e.g., United States v.
Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 109 S.Ct. 1581, 104 L.Ed.2d 1
(1989) (finding reasonable suspicion based on unusual travel
plans, traveling under an alias, defendant paid $2,100 for
two round-trip tickets from a roll of $20 bills, and
defendant stayed in Miami for only forty-eight hours, even
though the trip from Honolulu to Miami took twenty
 Monroe, 913 A.2d 570, *7, at
 See e.g., United States v.
Martinez, 168 F.3d 1043 (8th Cir. 1999) (finding
reasonable suspicion where defendant was nervous, occupants
of the car gave police inconsistent answers, driver
produced an incomplete bill of sale instead of registration,
and a computer check indicated criminal history); United
States v. Palomino, 100 F.3d 446, 448 (6th Cir. 1996)
(finding reasonable suspicion based on occupants'
inconsistent stories about the ownership of the car and the
purpose of the trip, nervousness of the occupants,
driver's criminal record, and the odor of chemicals
associated with cocaine); United States v. McRae, 81
F.3d 1528 (10th Cir. 1996) (brief detention following traffic
stop lawful in light of driver's vague rental car
arrangements, intensity with which driver watched officer
through mirror, driver's record of drug-trafficking
arrests, and untruthful answer to officer's question
about criminal record).
 Huntley, 777 A.2d at 256
(" The majority of courts that have cited tandem
driving, conflicting stories, and/or general nervousness as
factors supporting a finding of reasonable suspicion have
done so only in conjunction with other more tangible,
objectively articulable indicators of criminality . . .
." ). Compare United States v. Beck,
140 F.3d 1129 (8th Cir. 1998) (finding no reasonable
suspicion based on defendant driving a rental car rented by
an absent third party, fast food trash on the passenger
side floorboard, no visible luggage apparent in the passenger
compartment of the car, nervousness, traveling from a drug
source state to a drug demand state, and officer's
disbelief that the defendant's real reason for the trip
was to find work as a truck driver in North Carolina);
United States v. Wood, 106 F.3d 942 (10th Cir. 1997)
(finding no reasonable suspicion based on use of a rental
vehicle, defendant's error in identifying the city where
he rented the car, fast food wrappers and open maps in the
passenger compartment, extreme nervousness, and prior
narcotics conviction); Lilley v. State, 362 Ark.
436, 208 S.W.3d 785, 792 (Ark. 2005) (no reasonable suspicion
to detain defendant for a canine sniff based on
defendant's nervousness, car smelled like air freshener,
rental agreement was for one-way travel, and car was rented
in another person's name, although the defendant was
listed as an additional driver); State v.
Washington, 623 So.2d 392 (Ala.Crim.App. 1993) (finding
no reasonable suspicion where defendant was nervous,
defendant had temporary license, and car was rented by third
party and had temporary license plate), with
United States v. Fuse, 391 F.3d 924 (8th Cir. 2004)
(finding reasonable suspicion where there was a strong odor
of air freshener, criminal history, vehicle did not belong to
defendant or his passenger, unusual travel plans,
nervousness); United States v. Williams, 271 F.3d
1262, 1271 (10th Cir. 2001) (finding reasonable suspicion
based on extreme nervousness, the presence of the
short-range radio, and discrepancy in the rental agreement);
U.S. v. Hill, 195 F.3d 258 (6th Cir. 1999) (finding
reasonable suspicion existed where driver and passenger gave
implausible explanation for cross-country trip, inconsistent
statements regarding their travel itinerary, nervousness,
U--Haul rental agreement contained notation " CA,"
which led officer to believe rental paid for in cash, and
inordinate number of used tissues littering floorboard led
officer to believe that there was possibility that occupants
were using cocaine); United States v. Williams, 2013
WL 1435199, at *12 (M.D.N.C. 2013) (finding reasonable
suspicion when defendant was traveling in a rental car on a
known drug corridor at 12:37 a.m., travel plans were
inconsistent with, and would likely exceed, the due date for
return of the rental car, and driver unable to provide a
permanent home address in New York even though he claimed to
live there and had a New York driver's license);
United States v. Day, 590 F.Supp.2d 796, 2006 WL
306644 (E.D.Va. 2006) (finding reasonable suspicion when
defendant was traveling in a rental car, the rental car was
overdue, traveling from a known source city for illegal drugs
to another known source city; and provided inconsistent
 United States v. Finke, 85 F.3d
1275 (7th Cir. 1996).
 United States v. Contreras, 506
F.3d 1031 (10th Cir. 2007).
 United States v. Brugal, 209
F.3d 353, 355 (4th Cir. 2000).
 Id. at 359-60.
 Id. at 356.
 Id. at 360.
 United States v. Digiovanni,
650 F.3d 498, 512-13 (4th Cir. 2011), as amended
(Aug. 2, 2011).
 State v. Passerini, 18 Neb.App.
552, 789 N.W.2d 60 (Neb. Ct.App. 2010).
 Id. at 68-71.
 Id. at 70 (noting the fact that
defendant had valid driver's license and a vehicle
properly rented in his name, both of which were facts that
weighed against the finding of reasonable suspicion).
 Holden, 23 A.3d at 849 (quoting
Harris v. State, 806 A.2d 119, 128
 Jones, 745 A.2d at 874.