Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sweets v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

March 1, 2017

MICHAEL WAYNE SWEETS, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

         Appeal from the District Court of Sweetwater County The Honorable Nena James, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; and David E. Westling, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Katherine A. Adams, Assistant Attorney General.

          Before BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.

          HILL, JUSTICE.

         [¶1] Michael Wayne Sweets entered a conditional guilty plea to felony possession of methamphetamine. Mr. Sweets reserved the right to challenge the denial of his motion to suppress, hence this appeal. We will affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] Mr. Sweets presents one issue:

The search of Mr. Sweets' person without a warrant or probable cause was a violation of the prohibition of unreasonable searches as set out by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the trial court's refusal to suppress the fruits of that search constitutes reversible error.

         FACTS

         [¶3] On October 27, 2015, the Rock Springs police department and the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation together executed an arrest warrant on Helen McCaulley and investigated a tip that Matthew Sweets had bought methamphetamine within the last 24 hours. Mr. Sweets and Ms. McCaulley are engaged to be married.

         [¶4] As law enforcement arrived at Ms. McCaulley's home to execute the warrant, they were surprised to find Mr. Sweets leaving. Detective Jason Mower told Mr. Sweets they needed to talk. Detective Mower told Mr. Sweets he was not under arrest, advised Mr. Sweets of his rights, and began to tell him about the tip that Mr. Sweets bought drugs the night before. Mr. Sweets denied any involvement in drug activity. Detective Mower told Mr. Sweets that he would get a search warrant if he did not cooperate and told Mr. Sweets to keep his hands out of his pockets. He allowed Mr. Sweets to go in the home to get a cigarette, which he came back outside to smoke. Another detective stayed with Mr. Sweets while Detective Mower went to speak to DCI Agent Cody Ruiz, who was executing the warrant inside the home. During their brief conversation, Agent Ruiz asked if Detective Mower had done a pat-down search, to which Detective Mower said "no." Agent Ruiz question this and asked, "Why not, it's officer safety isn't it?"

         [¶5] Agent Ruiz then came outside to speak to Mr. Sweets. According to the agent, Mr. Sweets kept reaching into his front pants pocket, which prompted Agent Ruiz to do a pat-down of the waist area. Immediately, Agent Ruiz felt a "large bulge on both sides of [Mr. Sweets'] pockets, " and after asking what it was, Mr. Sweets removed both methamphetamine and marijuana from his pants pocket.

         [¶6] The next day, Mr. Sweets was charged by criminal information with two crimes: (1) felony possession of methamphetamine (over 3 grams), and (2) possession of marijuana (a third offense felony). In February of 2016, Mr. Sweets filed a motion to suppress, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.