7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: United States of America v. Ronald Colbert
Case No.: 21-3245
Officials: Ripple, Rovner, and Brennan, Circuit Judges.
Focus: Reasonable Suspicion – Suppression of Evidence
During a traffic stop, a detective and a police officer worked in tandem to search defendant Colbert’s vehicle and frisk him, uncovering on his person a brick-shaped package later confirmed to contain a controlled substance. Colbert moved to suppress this evidence, arguing that the frisk violated his constitutional rights. The district court denied the motion, and Colbert entered a conditional guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of fentanyl in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a). On appeal, Colbert contends that the district court erred in finding that the officers had reasonable suspicion to frisk him.
Viewing the totality of the circumstances, the officers had a reasonable suspicion to conduct a Terry frisk. This conclusion is supported by the 7th Circuit’s recent decision in United States v. Radford, 39 F.4th 377 (7th Cir. 2022), which presented similar facts