A 69-year-old man is filing a federal lawsuit against an Idaho State Trooper who, claiming that a “smell” constituted probable cause, stopped him and searched his car for marijuana — and then found none.
Caught on video, Trooper Justin Klitch followed Darien Roseen's truck to a “Welcome to Idaho” rest stop.
"Why'd you pull in here so rapidly?" Klitch asked Roseen.
"Uh, I had to go to the bathroom," Roseen responded.
"You didn't have to go to the bathroom before you saw me," the officer said.
"That's true — no, I did have to,” Roseen responded.
The trooper then slammed the driver with a battery of accusations.
"I'm telling you, you pulled in here to avoid me, that's exactly what you did," the trooper said. "I mean, you almost hit the curb, you almost ran off the road. You definitely didn't want me around you for some reason … Why are your eyes glassy today?"
The cop then asked Roseen when he last used marijuana. When Roseen said he’s never used it, Klitch asked if he can search the car.
"Well, yeah, if I have a choice, I can say no, I don't want you to search it,” Roseen responded.
"Why are you so worried about me if you're not violating any laws of the state or this country — why are you so concerned about me?" the officer asked.
"Because I want to get on the road and just get home,” Roseen answered.
As the exchange progressed, the officer claimed that he was “going to find whatever it is.” He convinced the driver to unload the bed of his truck, which was full of art supplies and presents from his daughter’s baby shower.
Klitch then claimed to smell marijuana from the compartment underneath the truck bed.
"Why do I smell marijuana coming out of there, sir?" he asked.
"You don't," Roseen responded.
"Well, take a smell," the trooper said.
"Nothing of the sort,” Roseen said.
Claiming that the odor gave him “probable cause” to search the vehicle, Roseen was detained for hours at Payette County Jail while an officer searched the car — finding nothing by way of illicit drugs.
The Idaho State Police said in a statement last week that it is conducting an internal investigation.
"We would like to assure the citizens of Idaho and the visitors to our state that the Idaho State Police holds all of its employees to a high standard which includes following the Constitution of the United States and the laws and constitution of the state of Idaho," the agency said.