- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments next year in a Nebraska case challenging how long officers can hold drivers during traffic stops.

Dennys Rodriguez, 30, of Norfolk, is challenging his conviction on charges of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute. He’s arguing that police violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to possessing the drug but later appealed, claiming evidence used against him shouldn’t have been allowed in court because his traffic stop was unreasonably prolonged without reasonable suspicion.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found the delay in the officers’ search was not unreasonably prolonged and was an insignificant intrusion on his personal liberty.

According to court records, Rodriguez was pulled over in 2012 by a Valley police officer after he swerved onto the road’s shoulder. He told the officer that he was trying to avoid a pothole and was given a written traffic warning.

The officer asked if could walk his drug dog around Rodriguez’s vehicle, and Rodriguez declined. He was asked to step out of his car, while the officer called for backup. The dog indicated the presence of drugs in Rodriguez’s vehicle after another officer arrived seven to eight minutes after the written traffic warning was issued. The officers searched Rodriguez’s vehicle and found a bag of meth.

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