Terry Stop Georgia
Do Totality of Circumstances Justify a Terry Stop of a Vehicle In Conjuction With a Search Warrant of a Dwelling for Contraband ?
In Garmon v. State, 271 Ga. 673 (524 S.E.2d 211) (1999) our Supreme Court affirmed Garmon v. State, 235 Ga. App. 671 (510 S.E.2d 350) (1998) a case involving the stop of a vehicle in conjunction with the execution of a warrant to search a dwelling for contraband.
The Court relied upon Summers, supra, in upholding the constitutionality of the vehicle stop.
On grant of certiorari, our Supreme Court declined to adopt the Summers analysis applied by the Court and instead applied a Terry v. Ohio standard in affirming the case.
In Garmon, 271 Ga. 673, the investigative stop was justified under Terry because there were some objective manifestations that the occupant in the vehicle leaving the search location was engaged in criminal activity. the Supreme Court observed that the existence of the search warrant was a factor to consider in analyzing the validity of the stop.
The Court noted that the driver and his companion were leaving a residence suspected as a location for dealing in controlled substances and an illegal sports betting operation, which was operating at that time since it was a big football weekend.
Thus, "it was reasonable to believe that persons then at the residence might be . . . involved in criminal activity." Garmon, 271 Ga. at 677.
The Supreme Court further noted that the truck was owned by a known methamphetamine dealer; that the officers had overheard telephone conversations discussing gambling and a drug deal; and that the officers had independent information which supported a reasonable belief that the men in the truck were involved in the operation.
This totality of the circumstances provided an articulable suspicion to justify the stop.