State v. Weinstein

In State v. Weinstein, 190 Ariz. 306, 947 P.2d 880 (App. 1997), a private mail carrier opened a package it suspected contained narcotics. Id. at 307, 947 P.2d at 881. When employees discovered a substance inside other than a letter, they called a government narcotics task force. Id. Although this court discussed the "ongoing relationship" between a narcotics law enforcement officer and the store employees, the Court determined that the "level of police involvement in that case was insufficient to meet the requisite degree of governmental participation necessary to convert a store employee into an agent of the state." Id. at 309, 947 P.2d at 883. As the Court noted: "While a certain degree of governmental participation is necessary before a citizen is transformed into an agent of the state, de minimis or incidental contacts between the citizen and law enforcement agents prior to or during the course of a search or seizure will not subject the search to Fourth Amendment scrutiny. The government must be involved either directly as a participant or indirectly as an encourager of the private citizen's actions . . . ." Id. at 309, 947 P.2d at 883.