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State v. Moran

Supreme Court of South Dakota

March 18, 2015

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
BRANDON LEWIS MORAN, Defendant and Appellant

Considered on Briefs February 17, 2015.

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT LYMAN COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE KATHLEEN F. TRANDAHL Judge.

MARTY J. JACKLEY, Attorney General, CAROLINE SRSTKA, Assistant Attorney General, Pierre, South Dakota, Attorneys for plaintiff and appellee.

STEVEN R. SMITH, Chamberlain, South Dakota, Attorney for defendant and appellant.

WILBUR, Justice. GILBERTSON, Chief Justice, and ZINTER, SEVERSON, and KERN, Justices, concur.

OPINION

Page 108

WILBUR, Justice.

[¶1] Brandon Moran appeals his conviction for possession of methamphetamine (meth). We affirm.

Background

[¶2] On January 17, 2014, Officer Brian Biehl observed a motor vehicle, with no front license plate, exceeding the speed limit on I-90 in Lyman County. Officer Biehl activated his lights and siren and followed the vehicle for several miles. Eventually, Officer Biehl called State Radio to report the pursuit. After following the vehicle for five miles, the driver finally pulled over. Moran was sitting in the passenger seat. Moran's girlfriend, Michelle

Page 109

Menard, was sitting in the driver's seat, and Moran's friend, Adam Stoneman, was sitting in the back seat.

[¶3] Officer Biehl ordered each of the occupants to exit the vehicle. He then handcuffed and searched them. Officer Biehl found a 9mm bullet and 20 to 30 empty jeweler baggies commonly used to distribute controlled substances in Stoneman's right pocket. In the vehicle, Officer Biehl found a digital scale, approximately one-eighth ounce of meth, and two firearms. One firearm was found partially hidden under the driver's seat, while the other firearm was found in a bag of clothes. Officer Biehl searched Moran's coat, which was located in the vehicle, and found a small jeweler baggie containing a white powder residue. The substance was never tested.

[¶4] Moran, Menard, and Stoneman were ordered to sit on the ground until additional law enforcement officers arrived at the scene. When the officers arrived, Officer Biehl asked Moran, Menard, and Stoneman to stand up. As Moran stood up, a glass pipe, typically used for smoking meth, fell from his person to the ground. Moran stepped on the pipe. Officer Biehl examined the glass pipe and observed white residue. The residue field tested positive for meth.

[¶5] Moran was arrested and charged with possession of meth in violation of SDCL 22-42-5, possession with intent to distribute in violation of SDCL 22-42-2, and possession of a firearm by a felon in violation of SDCL 22-14-15.1. The State also filed a part II information under SDCL 22-7-7. The part II information was based on two prior felony ...


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