The Third Department, over a dissent, determined the traffic stop was valid and the extended detention for a canine search was justified. The dissent argued the canine search was not justified:
The trooper testified that it was fully dark at the time of the stop and that he and defendant had their vehicles’ headlights on, as did other vehicles passing on the roadway. When the trooper turned off his headlights briefly to check the license plate light, he observed that it did not illuminate the plate. Thus, it was “objectively reasonable” for the trooper to conclude that the requisite visibility did not exist and that a traffic violation had been committed … . Additionally, the trooper was entitled to rely upon the investigator’s previous observation that defendant was driving without a seatbelt — a separate traffic violation that also provided probable cause for the stop … .
… [T]he trooper’s observations of defendant engaging in behaviors commonly seen in outdoor drug transactions at a location known for such activity, his “slow roll response” and furtive movements after the trooper initiated the stop and his evasive, inconsistent answers to the trooper’s questions created a founded suspicion that criminal activity was afoot … . Thus, the trooper properly extended the stop beyond its initial justification and conducted the canine search — which, in any event, took place only nine minutes after the initial stop and, according to the trooper, was completed in less than a minute … . People v Blandford, 2021 NY Slip Op 00058, Third Dept 1-7-21