Supreme Court Asked to Decide Whether Drug-Sniffing Dog Can Lead to Search Warrant

The U.S. Supreme Court could decide this month whether to take up a case that would decide whether police officers can obtain a search warrant for illegal drugs based on a drug-sniffing dog that picks up a scent outside of a house.

The Associated Press reports that the case centers on Franky, a drug-sniffing dog in Florida. Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that the dog’s ability to detect marijuana growing inside a home in Miami by sniffing outside the house was unconstitutional. The state’s attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the ruling.

“Dogs can be a police officer’s best friend because they detect everything from marijuana or meth labs to explosives,” Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. attorney in Miami who is now in private practice, told the AP.

Franky, a chocolate Labrador who recently retired after seven years with the Miami-Dade Police Department, is responsible for the seizure of more than 2.5 tons of marijuana and $4.9 million in drug-contaminated money, the article notes.

According to the AP, the U.S. Supreme Court has approved the use of drug-sniffing dogs in several other major cases. Two cases involved dogs that smelled drugs during routine traffic stops, while a third involved a dog that detected drugs in airport luggage. A fourth case involved a package containing drugs that was in transit.

Unlike those cases, the Florida case involves a private home. The Supreme Court has ruled in previous cases that homes are entitled to more privacy than traveling cars or suitcases in airports.

    User Picture


    January 11, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    what if the dog smelled smoke from a fire? do the police react or not because it is a private home?

    User Picture


    January 5, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Do “drug”-warrior Republicans understand how much it costs the taxpayer to train these dogs, and do all the other extreme tactics to make cannabis much more expensive than cigarette tobacco? Maybe they do understand, and consciously intend to get youngsters hooked on nicotine, thenceforth paying decades’ worth of cigarette taxes to fund lucrative government/private crackdown programs?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *