Was I-90 traffic stop that resulted in heroin bust illegal?

  • Corey R. Sackett is fighting an August 2015 traffic stop in which she was caught with heroin.

    Corey R. Sackett is fighting an August 2015 traffic stop in which she was caught with heroin.

Updated 6/21/2016 6:34 PM

A Utah woman arrested on heroin charges last year while she drove on Interstate 90 near Hampshire wants evidence suppressed, arguing a Kane County sheriff's deputy illegally prolonged the traffic stop to call in a drug dog.

If a judge agrees with the motion filed by Corey Sackett's defense attorney, it will be the fourth case in a year in which evidence has been disallowed because of an illegal search or traffic stop by Kane County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Hain.


Sackett, 33, of Tooele, is charged with possession of a controlled substance, a felony, stemming from an Aug. 13, 2015, traffic stop.

Kane County Assistant Public Defender Kim Bilbrey argues Hain violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

In a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, justices ruled law enforcement officers are not allowed to prolong a traffic stop beyond its initial purpose.

Bilbrey's motion argues Hain did exactly that in Sackett's case by not letting her leave after writing a warning.

"(Hain) gave Ms. Sackett her warning notice and returned all of her documents to her, concluding the traffic stop. Nonetheless, he continued to ask her questions having nothing to do with the purpose of the traffic stop," read part of the motion.

Hain asked for consent to search Sackett's vehicle but she said no, according to the court motion.

"After repeated requests to Ms. Sackett to consent and repeated attempts to decline theses requests, Sgt. Hain called for the drug sniffing dog anyway," Bilbrey's motion states. "Sgt. Hain's mere hunch was not enough to justify broadening of the traffic stop into an investigatory detention."

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Bilbrey also argues the drug dog never signaled that contraband was present but Hain searched the vehicle anyway.

In the past year judges have ruled against Hain three times -- that a strip search of a Minnesota man in April 2015 was illegal; that Hain improperly prolonged a February 2014 traffic stop of a retired Oregon sheriff deputy; and Hain improperly prolonged the traffic stop of three Minnesota residents in November 2015.

Prosecutors dismissed charges in the first two cases and are appealing the decision to suppress nearly a pound of heroin that was seized from the three Minnesota residents.

The Minnesota man who was illegally strip searched and the retired Oregon deputy have filed federal lawsuits against the county, sheriff's office and Hain.

Citing ongoing litigation, Sheriff Don Kramer has declined to comment on any of Hain's actions or procedures.

Sackett's case is due in front of Judge Linda Abrahamson July 22.

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