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Norman v. State

Court of Appeals of Maryland

March 27, 2017

JOSEPH NORMAN, JR.
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND

          Barbera, C.J. Greene Adkins McDonald Watts Hotten Getty, JJ.

          OPINION

          Watts, J.

         In 2014, the General Assembly decriminalized the possession of less than ten grams of marijuana, and reclassified such possession a "civil offense" rather than a misdemeanor. See 2014 Md. Laws. 1119, 1124 (Vol. II, Ch. 158, S.B. 364); Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law (2002, 2012 Repl. Vol., 2014 Supp.) § 5-601(c)(2).

         Recently, in Robinson v. State, ___ Md.___, ____ A.3d___, No. 37, Sept. Term, 2016, 2017 WL 244093, at *2 (Md. Jan. 20, 2017), this Court addressed whether, in light of the decriminalization of possession of less than ten grams of marijuana, a law enforcement officer has probable cause to search a vehicle based on an odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. This Court unanimously held that

a law enforcement officer has probable cause to search a vehicle where the law enforcement officer detects an odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle, as marijuana in any amount remains contraband, notwithstanding the decriminalization of possession of less than ten grams of marijuana; and the odor of marijuana gives rise to probable cause to believe that the vehicle contains contraband or evidence of a crime.

Id. This case requires us to decide a different issue involving the odor of marijuana emanating from a vehicle-namely, whether a law enforcement officer who detects an odor of marijuana emanating from a vehicle with multiple occupants has reasonable articulable suspicion that the vehicle's occupants are armed and dangerous, and thus may frisk-i.e., pat down-the vehicle's occupants for weapons.

         In this case, Trooper First Class Jon Dancho of the Maryland State Police ("Trooper Dancho") initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle in which Joseph Norman, Jr. ("Norman"), Petitioner, was the front seat passenger. Trooper Dancho detected what he described as a strong odor of fresh marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Trooper Dancho ordered the vehicle's three occupants to exit the vehicle so that he could search the vehicle for marijuana. Before searching the vehicle, Trooper Dancho frisked Norman and uncovered marijuana.

         Norman contends that the odor of marijuana emanating from a vehicle, without more, does not give rise to reasonable articulable suspicion to believe that the vehicle's occupants are armed and dangerous. The State, Respondent, argues that the odor of marijuana emanating from a vehicle gives rise to a reasonable inference that all of the vehicle's occupants are engaged in the common enterprise of drug dealing-which is often associated with guns.

         We reaffirm our holding in Robinson, 2017 WL 244093, at *2, that the odor of marijuana alone gives rise to probable cause to search a vehicle because the odor of marijuana indicates that the vehicle contains contraband or evidence of a crime. We hold that, where an odor of marijuana emanates from a vehicle with multiple occupants, a law enforcement officer may frisk, i.e., pat down, an occupant of the vehicle if an additional circumstance or circumstances give rise to reasonable articulable suspicion that the occupant is armed and dangerous. Stated otherwise, for a law enforcement officer to have reasonable articulable suspicion to frisk one of multiple occupants of a vehicle from which an odor of marijuana is emanating, the totality of circumstances must indicate that the occupant in question is armed and dangerous. An odor of marijuana alone emanating from a vehicle with multiple occupants does not give rise to reasonable articulable suspicion that the vehicle's occupants are armed and dangerous and subject to frisk.

         BACKGROUND

         In the Circuit Court for Somerset County ("the circuit court"), the State charged Norman with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Norman filed a motion to suppress, challenging "the stop and the fruits thereof." The circuit court conducted a hearing on the motion to suppress.

         At the hearing, as the only witness for the State, Trooper Dancho testified that, on March 22, 2015, at approximately 9 p.m., he initiated a traffic stop of a 1996 Nissan with an inoperable right taillight near southbound U.S. Route 13 at Allen Road in Princess Anne. In addition to the driver, Norman was in the vehicle's front passenger seat, and another passenger was in the backseat. Trooper Dancho called for backup. Within a few minutes, two more troopers arrived. Trooper Dancho "made contact" with the driver, and detected a strong odor of fresh marijuana emanating from the vehicle's passenger compartment. Trooper Dancho told the vehicle's three occupants to exit the vehicle so that he could search the vehicle for marijuana.

         Trooper Dancho testified that, before searching the vehicle, for his safety, he frisked the vehicle's occupants to look for weapons. Within two minutes of telling the vehicle's occupants to exit the vehicle, Trooper Dancho frisked the driver for approximately thirty seconds, and did not find any weapons or drugs. Trooper Dancho then frisked Norman, and Trooper Dancho felt what seemed like "large quantities of some foreign objects in his pants[.]" Trooper Dancho felt what seemed like plastic- or cellophane-covered, individually packaged bags of drugs in Norman's pants pocket. Trooper Dancho asked Norman what was in his pants pocket. Norman did not reply. Trooper Dancho testified that he moved Norman's pants pockets to make sure that what was in Norman's pants was not a weapon. Trooper Dancho "shook" Norman's pants pocket, and a bag of marijuana fell onto the ground. Trooper Dancho frisked the other passenger, and did not find any weapons or drugs.

         After frisking all three of the vehicle's occupants, Trooper Dancho searched the vehicle, and found a grinder with traces of marijuana, as well as a small amount of marijuana in the dashboard's center compartment, above the gear shift. Trooper Dancho arrested Norman and transported him to the State Police Barrack. At the Barrack, Trooper Dancho searched Norman, and located another bag of marijuana, which fell from Norman's pants. Trooper Dancho read Norman his Miranda rights, [1] which Norman waived. Norman admitted that all of the drugs and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle belonged to him, and claimed that they were for his personal use. On cross-examination, Trooper Dancho acknowledged that there is a difference between a frisk and a search of a person, and acknowledged that, in his report, he had written that he searched Norman prior to searching the vehicle.

         As a witness for Norman, Franklin Braham ("Braham") testified[2] that on March 22, 2015, he was a passenger in a vehicle with Norman and Trevon Lamar Robinson ("Robinson"), the driver. A law enforcement officer stopped the vehicle and said that a taillight was out. The law enforcement officer used his radio, and, thirty seconds later, two more law enforcement officers approached. The first law enforcement officer returned to the vehicle, said that he smelled marijuana, and pulled Robinson out of the vehicle. Another law enforcement officer pulled Norman out of the vehicle, and the third law enforcement officer pulled Braham out of the vehicle. According to Braham, all three of the vehicle's occupants were frisked twice. Braham testified that during Norman's frisk, the law enforcement officer was "tugging all over" Norman's body, and marijuana "fell out." According to Braham, the law enforcement officer put his hand under Norman's pants. After the traffic stop, Braham checked the vehicle's taillights, and the taillights seemed to be working.

         As a witness on his own behalf, Norman testified that on March 22, 2015, he was a passenger in a vehicle when it was stopped. According to Norman, a law enforcement officer other than Trooper Dancho told him to exit the vehicle, and he did so. The law enforcement officer led Norman to the back of the vehicle and told him to undo his belt buckle, then place his hands on the vehicle; Norman did so. The law enforcement officer patted Norman's chest and waist, moved his hands around Norman's boxer briefs' waistband, and then checked Norman's right pant leg, where the law enforcement officer found marijuana. As he was being frisked, Norman looked at the rear of the vehicle and saw that all of the lights were on.

         After Norman's testimony, the State recalled Trooper Dancho, who testified as a rebuttal witness that the vehicle's right taillight was inoperable and that, during the frisks, he did not put his hand inside anyone's clothing or under anyone's pants.

         After Trooper Dancho's testimony, the circuit court heard argument from the parties. Norman's counsel contended that Trooper Dancho lacked reasonable articulable suspicion that Norman was armed and dangerous, and pointed out that there were multiple officers present, which ameliorated the risk of danger. Norman's counsel asserted that the odor of marijuana does not give rise to probable cause to search a vehicle in light of the decriminalization of possession of less than ten grams of marijuana. The prosecutor argued that possession of any amount of marijuana was criminal at the time of the traffic stop, and maintained that, based on the odor of marijuana alone, Trooper Dancho would not have known whether the vehicle contained more or less than ten grams of marijuana, and that, as such, Trooper Dancho had reason to believe that criminal activity was afoot.

         The circuit court denied the motion to suppress. The circuit court found that Trooper Dancho conducted a frisk of Norman as opposed to a search of his person, and that the trooper properly Mirandized Norman. The circuit court concluded that Trooper Dancho had reasonable articulable suspicion that Norman was armed and dangerous. The circuit court stated that "guns are often associated with drug activity[, ]" and then concluded that it was "persuaded that under the totality of the circumstances in this case that a pat down for weapons was reasonable."

         Other Proceedings in the Circuit Court

         Norman waived his right to a jury trial, and proceeded by way of a not guilty agreed statement of facts, reserving the right to appeal the circuit court's denial of his motion to suppress. The circuit court found Norman guilty of possession of marijuana, and sentenced him to nine months of imprisonment. The State nol prossed the charges for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. Norman noted an appeal.

         Proceedings in the Court of Special Appeals

         In an unreported opinion, the majority of a panel of the Court of Special Appeals affirmed the circuit court's judgment. See Norman v. State, No. 1408, Sept. Term 2015, 2016 WL 4261800, at *5 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Aug. 11, 2016). The Court of Special Appeals held that Trooper Dancho had probable cause to search the vehicle when he smelled marijuana emanating from the vehicle. See id. at *3. The Court concluded that "[t]hat probable cause in turn raised reasonable, articulable suspicion that all occupants of the vehicle were engaged in a joint enterprise and together were in possession of drugs." Id. at *5. The Court further stated: "Based on the totality of the circumstances, we agree with the circuit court that the Trooper had legitimate concerns about his own safety and that it was reasonable for him to frisk [] Norman for weapons before conducting a probable cause search of the vehicle." Id. at *5.

         Judge Cathy Hollenberg Serrette, a judge of the Circuit Court for Prince George's County who had been specially assigned, dissented, concluding that there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that Trooper Dancho had reason to believe that Norman was armed and dangerous. See id. Judge Serrette determined that the Court of Special Appeals applied a categorical exception to the Fourth Amendment, such that the indication of the presence of any drugs during a traffic stop, including a noncriminal amount of marijuana, justified a frisk for weapons. See id. at *7.

         Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

         Norman petitioned for a writ of certiorari, raising the following two issues:

1.Does the smell of raw marijuana coming from a car stopped for a traffic violation provide [a law enforcement officer] with reasonable suspicion to believe that all passengers in the car are armed and dangerous, such that a pat down, or Terry frisk, [3] of the passengers is permissible?
2.When Trooper Dancho stopped a car with three individuals in it at night because its rear tail[]light was inoperable and smelled the "strong odor of raw marijuana coming from the passenger compartment, " did he have reasonable suspicion to believe that [] Norman, who was the front seat passenger, was armed and dangerous, in the absence of any factors suggesting that [] Norman or the other [occupant]s posed a risk to [Trooper Dancho]?

         This Court granted the petition. See Norman v. State, 450 Md. 216, 147 A.3d 394 (2016).

         DISCUSSION

         The Parties' Contentions

         Norman contends that the circuit court erred in denying the motion to suppress, as Trooper Dancho lacked reasonable articulable suspicion that he was armed and dangerous. Norman argues that, where a law enforcement officer initiates a traffic stop and reasonably suspects that the occupants possess marijuana, it does not necessarily follow that the law enforcement officer has reasonable articulable suspicion that the occupants are armed and dangerous. Norman asserts that, where a law enforcement officer detains a person who is suspected of having committed a minor offense, there must be other circumstances to justify a frisk of the person. Norman maintains that, here, no circumstances even remotely suggested that Norman was armed and dangerous. Norman points out that, for example, there was no evidence that he was nervous or agitated, made furtive movements, or failed to comply with Trooper Dancho's instructions. Norman argues that there was no evidence that his hands were not visible at all times or that there were any bulges in his pockets. And, Norman asserts that there was no evidence that he had any prior convictions, much less convictions for crimes of violence, or that Trooper Dancho knew from experience that he carried a weapon, or had been involved in any violent activity.

         Norman contends that it is an overgeneralization to conclude, based on a supposed association between guns and drugs, that an odor of marijuana alone gives rise to reasonable articulable suspicion that a vehicle's occupants are armed and dangerous. Norman argues that there were no additional circumstances indicating that he was engaged in drug dealing-for example, there was no testimony that the vehicle contained air fresheners; that he answered Trooper Dancho's questions evasively; or that the vehicle's occupants gave inconsistent information about where they were going, provided false names, or failed to produce identification. Norman points out that Trooper Dancho did not testify that, based on experience, he knows that people who possess marijuana for personal use often carry weapons. Norman maintains that not every occupant in a vehicle from which the odor of marijuana is emanating poses a risk of danger to a law enforcement officer and that, for those occupants who do not, the State's interest in the law enforcement officer's safety is outweighed by the occupant's individual privacy interest.

         The State responds that the circuit court was correct in denying the motion to suppress, as Trooper Dancho had reasonable articulable suspicion that Norman was armed and dangerous. The State contends that the strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle in which Norman was an occupant justified the frisk of Norman. The State argues that this Court has noted a connection between drugs and guns, and asserts that it is reasonable to infer that a vehicle's occupants are engaged in a common enterprise with each other-for example, drug dealing. The State maintains that the following circumstances constituted evidence of drug dealing by the occupants of the vehicle in which Norman was a passenger: Trooper Dancho smelled an odor of fresh marijuana, as opposed to burnt marijuana, and the odor was strong, in a car at night. The State contends that, although the right to frisk does not necessarily follow where a law enforcement officer is aware of facts consistent with the presence of a small quantity of marijuana, according to the State, in this case, no information was known to Trooper Dancho that the occupants had a small quantity of marijuana. The State points out that Trooper Dancho knew only that there was a strong odor of fresh marijuana emanating from a vehicle at night, and three occupants were in the vehicle.

         The Standard of Review

         In Varriale v. State, 444 Md. 400, 410, 119 A.3d 824, 830 (2015), this Court stated:

In reviewing a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress, an appellate court reviews for clear error the trial court's findings of fact, and reviews without deference the trial court's application of the law to its findings of fact. The appellate court views the trial court's findings of fact, the evidence, and the inferences that may be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the party who prevails on the issue that the defendant raises in the motion to suppress.

(Citation omitted).

         The Fourth Amendment, Reasonable Articulable Suspicion, and Frisks

         The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated[.]"[4] For the Fourth Amendment's purposes, a "seizure" of a person is any nonconsensual detention. See Barnes v. State, 437 Md. 375, 390, 86 A.3d 1246, 1255 (2014). There are two types of seizures of a person: (1) an arrest, whether formal or de facto, which must be supported by probable cause; and (2) a Terry stop, which must be supported by reasonable articulable suspicion. See Barnes, 437 Md. at 390, 86 A.3d at 1255. During a Terry stop, for the sake of the safety of the law enforcement officer and others, a law enforcement officer may frisk a person who the law enforcement officer has reason to believe is armed and dangerous. See Sellman v. State, 449 Md. 526, 541-42, 144 A.3d 771, 780-81 (2016).

         A law enforcement officer has reasonable articulable suspicion that a person is armed and dangerous where, under the totality of the circumstances, and based on reasonable inferences from particularized facts in light of the law enforcement officer's experience, a reasonably prudent law enforcement officer would have felt that he or she was in danger. See id. at 542, 144 A.3d at 781. Because a court considers the totality of the circumstances, the court must not parse out each individual circumstance; in other words, a court must not engage in a "divide and conquer" analysis. See id. at 543, 544, 144 A.3d at 781, 782. Indeed, a circumstance may be innocent by itself, but appear suspicious when considered in combination with other circumstances. See id. at 544, 144 A.3d at 782.

         Reasonable articulable suspicion is a commonsense, nontechnical concept that depends on practical aspects of day-to-day life; as such, a court must give due deference to a law enforcement officer's experience and specialized training, which enable the law enforcement officer to make inferences that might elude a civilian. See id. at 543, 144 A.3d at 781. That said, although reasonable articulable suspicion is a lesser standard than probable cause, it must be greater than an inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or hunch. See id. at 543, 144 A.3d at 781. And, a law enforcement officer may not frisk a defendant simply because the law enforcement officer initiated a lawful traffic stop. See id. at 545, 144 A.3d at 782.

         A frisk is different from a search of a person. See Bailey v. State, 412 Md. 349, 369, 987 A.2d 72, 84 (2010). Whereas a search has the broad purpose of discovering incriminating evidence, a frisk has the limited purpose of discovering weapons. See id. at 368-69, 987 A.2d at 84. In In re David S., 367 Md. 523, 545, 789 A.2d 607, 619 (2002), we stated:

The objective [of a frisk] is to discover weapons readily available to a suspect that may be used against the officer, not to ferret out carefully concealed items that could not be accessed without some difficulty. General exploratory searches are not permitted, and police officers must distinguish between the need to protect themselves and the desire to uncover incriminating evidence.

(Citation, brackets, and internal quotation marks omitted). In other words, "[t]he officer may not exceed the limited scope of a pat[]down for weapons to search for contraband." Bailey, 412 Md. at 369, 987 A.2d at 84.

         In Reid v. State, 428 Md. 289, 297, 51 A.3d 597, 602 (2012), we distinguished between an investigatory stop and a frisk, explaining:

In its landmark decision in Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968), the Supreme Court interpreted the Fourth Amendment to permit a law enforcement officer to stop an individual that the officer suspected may have been involved in criminal activity. The Court held if an officer has reasonable, articulable suspicion that the suspect was armed, the officer could frisk the individual for weapons. Id. at 24, 88 S.Ct. at 1881, 20 L.Ed.2d at 907-908. The Court noted, however, that this exception to the requirement that an officer have probable cause before conducting a search was narrowly drawn and limited to frisking only the individual's clothing for weapons. Id. at 29-30, 88 S.Ct. at 1884-85, 20 L.Ed.2d at 911.

And, in Holt v. State, 435 Md. 443, 459, 78 A.3d 415, 424 (2013), we further explained the circumstances under which an investigative stop may occur, stating that "[a] law enforcement officer may conduct a brief investigative 'stop' of an individual if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot." (Citation and some internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, a law enforcement "officer who has a reasonable suspicion that a particular person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime may detain that person briefly in order to investigate the circumstances that provoked suspicion." Id. at 459, 78 A.3d at 424 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

         In Sellman, 449 Md. at 557, 144 A.3d at 790, this Court held that law enforcement officers may not conduct a pat down of occupants of a vehicle merely because the driver consents to a search of the vehicle. In Sellman, id. at 531, 144 A.3d at 774, while patrolling a high-crime area at night, law enforcement officers saw the defendant walk from a dark spot near an apartment building toward a spot that was lit by a streetlight. Upon seeing the law enforcement vehicle, the defendant abruptly stopped and waited for the law enforcement vehicle to drive past him. See id. at 531-32, 144 A.3d at 774-75. The defendant walked to, and entered, a parked vehicle that contained three other occupants. See id. at 532, 144 A.3d at 775. The vehicle drove away, and the law enforcement officers followed the vehicle, saw that it had a broken taillight, and initiated a traffic stop. See id. at 532, 144 A.3d at 775. The defendant-who was the left-rear passenger-"was sitting completely rigid in his seat[;] he had his hands on his knees[, ] was looking straight ahead[, ] and never turned his head once." Id. at 532-33, 144 A.3d at 775-76. One of the law enforcement officers asked the vehicle's occupants if any of the occupants lived in the nearby apartment complex, and only the right-rear passenger stated that she did; however, later, the driver stated that the defendant lived in the apartment complex. See id. at 534, 144 A.3d at 776. One of the law enforcement officers asked the defendant whether he lived in the apartment complex, and he replied in the negative. See id. at 535, 144 A.3d at 776. The defendant provided a false name to the law enforcement officer, who was unable to find any records under that name. See id. at 535, 144 A.3d at 776-77. After these events, one of the law enforcement officers frisked the defendant and found a handgun. See id. at 536, 144 A.3d at 777.

         This Court observed that, although the law enforcement officers testified that there had been thefts from vehicles in the area, they did not testify about any circumstances that would have provided "individualized, objective reasonable suspicion that [the defendant] was involved in the crime of theft of property from cars." Id. at 545, 144 A.3d at 782. For example, the law enforcement officers did not testify that they "observe[d] furtive gestures, evasive maneuvers, bulges, bags or containers, or any instruments associated with the suspected crime of theft, i.e., theft of property from cars." Id. at 546, 144 A.3d at 783. This Court stated that the record showed that the law enforcement officers were in control during the traffic stop, and a reasonably prudent officer would not have reasonably suspected that any of the vehicle's occupants was armed and dangerous. See id. at 546, 144 A.3d at 783. This Court held that a police department policy, under which law enforcement officers could frisk all of a vehicle's occupants in the process of conducting a consent search of the vehicle, would be unlawful. See id. at 557, 144 A.3d at 790. This Court reiterated that a frisk must be supported by reasonable articulable suspicion, and rejected the principle that a law enforcement officer may conduct a frisk "as a matter of routine caution[.]" Id. at 557-58, 144 A.3d at 790 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

         In Sellman, there was a dissenting opinion. The dissent disagreed with the Majority solely as to the application of the law to the facts, and stated: "The resolution of this case does not augment or enhance existing stop-and-frisk case law. It demonstrates only a disagreement between the Majority and the Court of Special Appeals and the circuit court as to the analysis of the facts of the case under existing case law." Id. at 563, 144 A.3d at 793 (Watts, J., dissenting). The dissent would have concluded that the law enforcement officers had reasonable articulable suspicion to frisk the defendant under the totality of the circumstances, including:

(1) the stop occurred late at night in a high-crime area; (2) specifically, [the law enforcement officer] testified that there had been multiple thefts from vehicles, a shooting, illegal handgun possessions, and drug arrests at the apartment complex; (3) [the defendant] behaved nervously before and during the stop; (4) specifically, [the defendant] came out of the darkened area of the apartment complex, made evasive movements upon seeing the law enforcement vehicle, and behaved nervously within the vehicle during the stop; (5) [the driver] advised that [the defendant] lived at the apartment complex, while [the defendant] did not respond when [the law enforcement officer] asked if anyone in the vehicle lived at the apartment complex; and (6) [the defendant] provided false identification to [the law enforcement officer].

Id. at 567-68, 144 A.3d at 796 (Watts, J., dissenting). In other words, the dissent took no issue with the Majority's premise that routine frisks for officers' safety during traffic stops are not permitted, but rather would have concluded that additional circumstances giving rise to reasonable articulable suspicion that the defendant was armed and dangerous were present. The dissent stated "that, under the totality of the circumstances, the evidence [was] sufficient to establish that [the law enforcement officer] had reasonable articulable suspicion to believe that criminal activity was afoot and that [the defendant] presented a danger to the officers at the time of the frisk." Id. at 576-77, 144 A.3d at 801 (Watts, J., dissenting).

         In Dashiell v. State, 374 Md. 85, 110, 821 A.2d 372, 387 (2003), this Court held that a law enforcement officer has reasonable articulable suspicion to frisk a defendant while "executing a search warrant based upon an application which specifically articulates that the search is to be of an armed individual and of a residence where weapons may be found[.]" In Dashiell, id. at 91, 821 A.2d at 375, law enforcement officers investigated a suspected drug dealer named Bivens, and applied for a warrant to search Bivens and two residences in which Bivens was suspected to be concealing drugs. In the search warrant application, the law enforcement officers stated that a "concerned source of information" had reported seeing Bivens with a handgun and had seen several guns inside one of the residences. Id. at 91-92, 821 A.2d at 376. The trial judge issued the warrant, finding that there was probable cause to believe that criminal activity was occurring at the residence. See id. at 92, 821 A.2d at 376. Law enforcement officers executed the warrant; at the time, Bivens was not at the residence, but the defendant, his two children, and another adult were. See id. at 92, 821 A.2d at 376. Law enforcement officers handcuffed everyone in the residence, searched the residence, and frisked everyone for weapons. See id. at 92, 821 A.2d at 376. While frisking the defendant, a law enforcement officer discovered a bag of cocaine in the defendant's pants pocket. See id. at 92, 821 A.2d at 376.

         This Court concluded that, based on the law enforcement officers'

experience, their knowledge of the relationship between guns and drugs, their knowledge of Bivens'[s] violent past and witnesses' observations of weapons located inside the house, [the officers] had considerable evidence from reliable sources that a drug trafficking operation was being conducted at [the residence] and, under the totality of these circumstances, had significant reasons to ...

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