Carmouche v. State (2001)

In Carmouche v. State, 10 S.W.3d 323 (Tex. Crim. App. 2001), a police informant told the officer that appellant would be driving from Houston to Nacogdoches while carrying 10 ounces of cocaine, so the police set up surveillance at a gas station along the route. After appellant left the gas station, officers followed him and pulled him over after observing a traffic violation. Id. There were several officers at the scene. Id. The officers searched the car with consent, and when tipped off by the informant to check appellant's person, the officer performed a pat-down search on appellant and found more than $1,900 in cash. Id. The court of criminal appeals noted that reasonable suspicion of illegal activity was not sufficient to justify a "Terry frisk," but that "the additional intrusion that accompanies a Terry frisk is only justified where the officer can point to specific and articulable facts which reasonably lead him to conclude that the suspect might possess a weapon." Id. at 329. The court noted that such circumstances were, in fact, present because of the "nature of the suspected criminal activity," i.e., drug trafficking. Id. at 330.