United States District Court, C.D. California
Jason Ray Jones Defendant (s)
Present: The Honorable STEPHEN V. WILSON, U.S. DISTRICT
CRIMINAL MINUTES - GENERAL
IN CHAMBERS ORDER re MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE
Jason Ray Jones (“Defendant”) is charged in a
single-count Indictment with being a Felon in Possession of a
Firearm and Ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). (Dkt. 10.) Defendant challenges the search of his
car, which resulted in the discovery of a loaded .40 caliber
handgun in the open center console of his car. (Dkt. 29
(Mot.) at 3-4, 6-8.) Defendant contends that the responding
officer's search of his car was illegal because it was
unsupported by probable cause.
approximately 4:21 a.m. on May 5, 2017 San Bernardino County
Deputy Sheriff Kayla Peters was dispatched to check on a
suspicious vehicle at a Circle K store on Highway 18.
(Declaration of Kayla Peters, ¶ 2). Deputy Peters was
sent to the store in response to a call made to the
sheriff's department by an employee of Circle K. (Ex. A
to Defendant's Mot.). The employee of the store told the
sheriff's department that a black sedan had been parked
outside the store for two hours, and that the driver appeared
to be asleep or intoxicated. Id. The radio
dispatcher relayed this information to several patrol cars,
including that of Deputy Peters. (Peters Decl. ¶ 2).
arriving at the store, Deputy Peters observed the car parked
in a handicapped parking space, even though there was no
indication that the car was authorized to do so.
(Id. at ¶ 3). Peters also observed that the VIN
of the car was covered. She then approached the car and
observed Defendant through the window, seeing that he had
several tattoos, one of which she identified as a gang
tattoo. Defendant appeared to be asleep in the driver's
seat. (Id. at ¶ 4.) She tapped on the window of
the car and asked Defendant for his identification.
Id. (Defendant March 29, 2018 Page 2 contends that
she did not tap on the window, but rather opened the door of
the car.) Defendant identified himself as “Glenn Jones,
” but did not have a valid driver's license or any
other form of identification. Id. Deputy Peters ran
the name through the database in her patrol car, and
discovered a criminal history for Glenn Jones including an
arrest for robbery and previous probation violations.
subsequently returned to the car, and observed that Defendant
had eyelid tremors which her training led her to believe were
associated with methamphetamine use, and that he was talking
rapidly. She further observed a monkey-face mask lying on the
passenger seat of the car. (Id. ¶¶ 4-7).
At this point, she asked Defendant to step out of the car so
that she could conduct a pat down search. Id.
patted Defendant down and found nothing. (Id. at
¶ 8.) She then asked Defendant about his drug use, and
he admitted to having used drugs in the last few days.
Id. Upon hearing this, she had defendant sit in the
back of the patrol car while she searched his vehicle.
(Id. at ¶¶ 8, 11). Defendant was
supervised by Deputy McGee, who had arrived while Peters
patted Defendant down. (Second Peters Decl. ¶ 16.)
Peters then found a loaded handgun in the car, along with a
small scale containing a substance resembling
Peters searched the car, another officer, Sergeant Edward
Bachman, arrived on the scene. (Id. at ¶ 11.)
Sgt. Bachman had also received the dispatch call regarding
Defendant's vehicle, and had decided to go assist Peters.
(Bachman Decl. ¶2.) Bachman made the independent
decision to go to the Circle K before he knew that Peters had
searched Defendant's car or found a gun. Bachman
immediately recognized Defendant as Jason Jones, as he had
previously encountered him several times during his time with
the police department. Defendant then admitted to Bachman
that his real name was Jason Jones, that he had given an
incorrect name to Peters, and that he was on parole.
(Id. at ¶ 3). Peters then ran a record check
with the correct name and discovered that Defendant Jones was
on parole and had outstanding arrest warrants for parole
violations. (Id. at ¶ 12). Peters then arrested
Defendant for the parole violations, as well as for being a
felon in possession of a firearm. (Id. at ¶
McGee and Peters then conducted an inventory search of the
car, and Defendant's vehicle was then towed, pursuant to
California Vehicle Code § 22651(h)(1). (Second Peters
March 29, 2018 Page 3 Decl. ¶ 16.) This code section
authorizes law enforcement to tow a vehicle once the driver
of that vehicle has been arrested.
first suppression hearing, the Court concluded that there was
no probable cause to search Defendant's car for evidence
of drug use or evidence of a robbery. The Court requested the
parties file supplementary briefs, discussing the case of
Devenpeck v. Alford, 543 U.S. 146 (2004) to
determine if probable cause existed to search Defendant's
car for any crime, even one that Peters did not
subjectively think of. The Court concludes that there was no
probable cause, but DENIES the motion to suppress based on
the inevitable discovery doctrine.
Peters Did Not Have Probable ...