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Date: 06-26-2021

Case Style:


Case Number: CA2020-07-038

Judge: Robert A Hendrickson


Plaintiff's Attorney: David P. Fornshell, Warren County Prosecuting Attorney, Kirsten A. Brandt

Defendant's Attorney:

Middletown, Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory


Middletown, Ohio - Criminal defense attorney represented one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs and one count of aggravated possession of drug charges.

On January 21, 2020, Shaibi was indicted on one count of aggravated
trafficking in drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2) and (C)(1)(c) and one count of Warren CA2020-07-038
aggravated possession of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A) and (C)(1)(b), both felonies
of the third degree as the amount of drug involved (Cathinone, a Schedule I drug) equaled
or exceeded the bulk amount but was less than five times the bulk amount. Shaibi was also
indicted on one count of trafficking in drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2) and (C)(2)(a),
a felony of the fifth degree as the drug involved (Cathine, a Schedule IV drug) was in an
amount less than the bulk amount, and one count of possession of drugs in violation of R.C.
2925.11(A), a misdemeanor of the first degree. The charges arose out of a traffic stop and
subsequent search of a rented U-Haul truck traveling northbound on I-71 in Warren County,
Ohio. Shaibi was a passenger in the truck, which was being driven by his cousin Sanad
Shaibi (hereafter, "Sanad").
{¶ 3} Shaibi pled not guilty to the charges and moved to suppress evidence
obtained from the search of the U-Haul truck, contending that the initial stop of the vehicle
was not supported by probable cause or reasonable and articulable suspicion. He further
argued that law enforcement unconstitutionally prolonged his detention during the stop and
that any consent he gave for the search of the truck was not voluntarily given under the
{¶ 4} On May 21, 2020, a hearing was held on Shaibi's motion to suppress. At the
hearing, the state presented testimony from Ohio State Highway Patrol ("OSHP") Trooper
Kyle Doebrich and introduced into evidence video footage of the stop, which had been
captured on the trooper's cruiser's camera. Trooper Doebrich testified that he has been
employed as a trooper with OSHP for seven years and is currently assigned to the
interdiction unit. Trooper Doebrich has specific training in the use of speed detection
equipment, such as laser and radar speed devices, and has also been trained in pacing
and visual observation of speed. Additionally, Trooper Doebrich has received advanced
training in drug interdiction, criminal interdiction, and trafficking, and he has worked with the Warren CA2020-07-038
- 3 -
ATF, DEA, FBI, Warren County's Drug Task Force, Hamilton County's Drug Task Force,
and with the city of Cincinnati's Police Investigation Unit.
{¶ 5} On October 23, 2019, Trooper Doebrich was in uniform in a marked police
cruiser on I-71. At approximately, 12:10 p.m., as the trooper was sitting stationary near mile
post 36 in Warren County, Ohio, he observed a U-Haul truck driven by Sanad traveling
northbound. The trooper found the manner in which the truck decreased its speed as it
approached his cruiser suspicious. Trooper Doebrich pulled his cruiser onto the highway
and pursued the truck. As he was catching up to the truck, the trooper visually observed
that the truck was exceeding the 70-m.p.h. speed limit. Trooper Doebrich paced the truck
for approximately 20 seconds as the truck traveled 80 m.p.h. During this time, the trooper
also noticed that the truck was following another vehicle too closely. Based on these
observations, at 12:13 p.m., Trooper Doebrich initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle.
{¶ 6} Once the U-Haul truck pulled over, Trooper Doebrich gave his dispatch the
truck's Arizona license plate number before approaching the truck on its passenger side.
Immediately upon approaching the truck, the trooper noted that Shaibi, who was sitting in
the passenger seat, appeared nervous. Shaibi was breathing fast, his hands were shaking,
and he would not make eye contact with the trooper. Trooper Doebrich testified that Shaibi's
behavior was "quite unusual to see out of a passenger in a motor vehicle."
{¶ 7} The driver of the truck, Sanad, was argumentative and denied that he was
speeding. Trooper Doebrich testified it was uncommon to have a driver deny an infraction,
and he stated that it was "a tool people use to thwart our ability to get themselves out of a
citation or have contact with us." While talking with Sanad and Shaibi, the trooper observed
a large bag of jewelry in a plastic shopping bag sitting in the cab of the truck. The trooper
found the bag of jewelry "odd" and suspicious as it was possible it had been stolen since it
was packaged in bulk and there did not appear to be receipts. Warren CA2020-07-038
- 4 -
{¶ 8} Trooper Doebrich asked for the men's identification and to see the rental
agreement for the U-Haul. In the trooper's experience, U-Haul provides renters with a link
to an electronic copy of the rental agreement. Shaibi was able to produce a New York
driver's license and claimed that he had rented the U-Haul, though he was unable to provide
the trooper with a copy of the rental agreement at this time. Sanad informed the trooper
that he had a New York driver's license, but he did not have the ID on him as he had left it
in Cincinnati.
{¶ 9} The trooper had Sanad exit the truck and after patting Sanad down, placed
him in the back of the cruiser. As Sanad claimed to have a New York license, Trooper
Doebrich was unable to confirm Sanad's identity on his cruiser's computer and had to call
in the information to an OSHP intel analyst. At 12:19 p.m., Sanad provided Trooper
Doebrich with his name, date of birth, and social security number. Sanad appeared to be
somewhat unsure of his social security number when he provided it, which the trooper found
to be suspicious.
{¶ 10} After obtaining Sanad's identifying information, the trooper questioned Sanad
about his and Shaibi's travels and their final destination. Sanad informed the trooper that
he and Shaibi were cousins and were on their way to Buffalo, New York, after being in
Cincinnati for business. Sanad told the trooper that his and Shaibi's family operated a
business that sold hair and beauty supplies. They had one store in Cincinnati and a second
store in Buffalo. Trooper Doebrich testified that both Buffalo and Cincinnati are "source
cities," which he explained are "[l]arge hubs, criminal and drug activity. * * * Highways are
a road commonly used to transport narcotics, currency, and contraband. Those are all
significant locations."
{¶ 11} Trooper Doebrich questioned Sanad about why Cincinnati was selected as a
store location, and Sanad "had hesitation and was unsure about the reason" before Warren CA2020-07-038
- 5 -
ultimately stating "something to the fact of it just seemed like a good place or something."
The trooper found it odd that Sanad "had no real certain reason why they would have
business in Cinci[nnati]." The trooper also found it odd and suspicious that Sanad had
"hesitation and pause in his voice" when identifying Shaibi and another cousin as the
owners of the family business. According to Trooper Doebrich, "[I]f he's working for a
company and it's a family business, typically names of family members are fairly quick to
respond to." The trooper was also suspicious when Sanad struggled to identify the address
of where the Cincinnati store was located, even though Sanad claimed to have just come
from Cincinnati. When asked about the address, Sanad stated it was "Kemper." When
Trooper Doebrich asked if it was Kemper Road, Sanad said "yes," but was unable to confirm
the exact address.
{¶ 12} At 12:24 p.m., Trooper Doebrich contacted an OSHP intel analyst to obtain a
record's check on Sanad and Shaibi. The trooper requested both a record check of the
New York identifications and an El Paso Intelligence Center ("EPIC") check for both men.
Trooper Doebrich explained that an EPIC check is not something that he can obtain
immediate results from as it "takes some time," to obtain the information but he nonetheless
felt, "based on the suspicious – the nervous behavior and the observations [he] made" that
it was best to request the information as he had "suspicion that there is possible drug activity

1. The trooper did not provide any further details on what information he expected to obtain from the EPIC
check. "The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) was established in 1974, to provide tactical intelligence to
federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies on a national scale. Staffed by representatives of the DEA
and the INS, EPIC has since expanded into a center comprised of 21 participating agencies that share a
common quest: identify threats to the Nation, with an emphasis on the Southwest border." United States
Drug Enforcement Administration, El Paso Intelligence Center, (accessed March 9, 2021). "EPIC's mission is 'to support U.S. law enforcement (LE) through the
timely analysis and dissemination of intelligence on threats to the Nation and those criminal organizations
responsible for illegal activities within the Western Hemisphere, having a particular emphasis on Mexico and
the Southwest Border.' While taking a hemispheric, all crimes/all threats view, EPIC's primary focus is on
criminal activity within the United States." (Emphasis sic.) United States Drug Enforcement
Administration, EPIC's Mission, (accessed March 9, 2021). Warren CA2020-07-038
- 6 -
{¶ 13} Trooper Doebrich testified that he received a "quick response" from the intel
analyst verifying Sanad's New York identification. By 12:28 p.m., both Sanad and Shaibi's
identification had been verified. From 12:28 p.m. until 12:31 p.m., Trooper Doebrich
continued speaking with Sanad, asking him additional questions about the Buffalo and
Cincinnati beauty stores, his travels, and the contents of the U-Haul. During this time,
Sanad informed the officer that he and Shaibi were originally from Yemen, that he moved
to the United States in 2003, and that he had recently returned from an overseas trip to
Yemen. Sanad stated that Shaibi had rented the U-Haul truck and that they were bringing
back Ikea furniture they had bought for their homes in New York. Sanad also clarified for
the trooper that this was his first trip to Cincinnati.
{¶ 14} At 12:32 p.m., Trooper Doebrich exited his cruiser and reapproached Shaibi
in the rental truck. Trooper Doebrich testified that at the time he reapproached Shaibi, he
was hoping to confirm the rental agreement for the U-Haul and he was "still waiting on some
information" from the intel analyst about both occupants of the U-Haul. Specifically, Trooper
Doebrich testified he was waiting on the results of the EPIC check and waiting to receive a
photograph of Sanad. Trooper Doebrich's testimony about waiting on a photograph,
however, conflicts with statements he made to the intel analyst. On the recording of the
traffic stop, the analyst can be heard asking Trooper Doebrich whether he wanted a
photograph of Sanad and Doebrich responded, "No. I just need to see if you can just pull
it up. I've got the soc[ial], name, and DOB." In any event, Trooper Doebrich testified that
at the time he concluded his initial phone call with the intel analyst, before reapproaching
Shaibi in the U-Haul, he had all the information he needed to write Sanad a traffic citation
for speeding and following too closely.
{¶ 15} Upon encountering Shaibi for the second time, Trooper Doebrich observed
that Shaibi maintained his nervous behavior. He did not make eye contact, his hands were Warren CA2020-07-038
- 7 -
shaking, and he was rapidly breathing – "all things consistent with an adrenaline rush based
on fear." The trooper found Shaibi's behavior unusual, as Shaibi was a passenger and not
the individual who had committed the traffic violations and therefore would not be issued a
traffic citation. Shaibi was able to pull up an electronic copy of the U-Haul's rental
agreement and he provided the agreement to the trooper after exiting the U-Haul at the
trooper's request. Shaibi was not subjected to a pat down by the trooper after he exited the
{¶ 16} While Shaibi was providing the rental agreement, Trooper Doebrich
questioned Shaibi about the jewelry in the cab of the truck. Shaibi informed the trooper that
the jewelry was for his business. Trooper Doebrich asked to view the jewelry. Shaibi
handed the jewelry over and gave the trooper permission to open the bag. Shaibi told the
trooper that he purchases the jewelry for a small fee, around $2.50 apiece, and sells the
jewelry for between $5.00 and $6.00 apiece. Following Shaibi's explanation and the
trooper's visual inspection of the jewelry, Trooper Doebrich indicated most of his suspicions
regarding the jewelry were dispelled and the presence of the jewelry did not lead to a
suspicion of drug activity.
{¶ 17} Despite having confirmed the men's identities, that there was a rental
agreement for the U-Haul truck, and the inexpensive nature of the jewelry in the truck,
Trooper Doebrich continued to detain Shaibi. Trooper Doebrich questioned Shaibi about
his business and travel plans, and Shaibi gave answers that were largely consistent with
Sanad's answers concerning those subjects.2 Shaibi explained that he was originally from

2. In an effort to clarify whether there were inconsistencies in Shaibi's and Sanad's stories, the trial court
questioned Trooper Doebrich as follows:
THE COURT: Okay, but then when you compare what Sanad told you to
what the defendant [Shaibi] told you, were those inconsistent with each
other? Warren CA2020-07-038
- 8 -
Yemen, that he operated beauty supply stores in Buffalo and Cincinnati, and that he and
Sanad were transporting IKEA furniture for their respective homes in the back of the UHaul. Shaibi also indicated he was transporting "hair stuff."
{¶ 18} Trooper Doebrich felt that there was the "potential" that Shaibi and Sanad
were engaged in some criminal activity, though he had no idea what criminal activity had
occurred. At 12:35 p.m., or 22 minutes into the traffic stop, Trooper Doebrich asked Shaibi
for permission to search the rear of the truck. Shaibi, who was not told he had the right to
refuse the trooper's request, produced a key to the padlock of the truck. At 12:36 p.m.,
while Sanad remained secured in the back of the trooper's cruiser, the back of the U-Haul
is opened. At this time, Trooper Roddy, a canine handler, arrived on scene.
{¶ 19} While standing outside the back of the opened U-Haul, Trooper Doebrich
observed a large number of boxes arranged in a haphazard fashion. Some of the boxes
were labeled "IKEA" and some of the boxes had shipping labels. Trooper Doebrich thought
the load was irregular and somewhat suspicious as it was a "mixed load" and possibly a
"cover load" for the transportation of contraband.3 There was a duffel bag in rear of the

[TROOPER DOEBRICH]: They were consistent while speaking with both of
them and processing those conversations together.
3. With respect to the load irregularities he observed, Trooper Doebrich explained as follows:
[PROSECUTOR]: You said load irregularities. I'm assuming what the
contents of the back of the U-Haul were?
[PROSECUTOR]: What was so unusual or what do you mean by that?
[TROOPER DOEBRICH]: With that being said, initially was understood
to me both that it was a personal load of merchandise and then it turned
into a business/personal and then both parties had items and the load
had hair supplies [sic] items and also their clothing items and then
miscellaneous bags, which were the two bags that I observed.
[PROSECUTOR]: Is there something unusual about that, based on
your training and experience? Warren CA2020-07-038
- 9 -
truck and Shaibi consented to the search of the bag. Inside the bag, Trooper Shaibi found
Shaibi's clothing and personal effects. The trooper also observed a plastic bag in the left
rear corner of the truck, which appeared to contain papers, receipts, miscellaneous items
and another plastic bag containing a green plant material that the trooper believed was
contraband. Based on his training and experience, Trooper Doebrich believed the green
plant material was "Khat," a drug the trooper stated was "common" from a country such as
Yemen. Trooper Doebrich questioned Shaibi about the green plant material, and he
originally claimed it was tea before admitting it was Khat. At the time Trooper Doebrich
searched the back of the U-Haul and discovered the Khat, he had not received the results
of the EPIC check or obtained a photograph of Sanad from the intel analyst.
{¶ 20} After hearing the foregoing testimony, the trial court took the matter under
advisement. The state filed a memorandum in opposition to Shaibi's motion to suppress,
arguing Trooper Doebrich had reasonable and articulable suspicion to stop and detain the
occupants of the U-Haul and he had received consent to search the U-Haul. On July 7,
2020, the trial court issued a decision granting Shaibi's motion to suppress, holding that
"any and all evidence gained following the obtaining [of] the electronic copy of the rental
agreement and the Defendant responds [sic] as to the nature of his business (approximately
12:35 on Exhibit 1) is hereby suppressed – including, but not limited to the suspected illegal
drugs." The court determined that the initial stop of the U-Haul was lawful as it was based
on probable cause that traffic violations, specifically speeding and following too closely, had
occurred. The court further found that the detention of Shaibi and Sanad to verify Sanad's
identity, to obtain a copy of the rental agreement, and to dispel concerns about the jewelry

[TROOPER DOEBRICH]: Yes, sir. I mean in a commercial business,
typically things are nowadays sent directly to stores. It's more money
now to send things from location to location. It would be common to
have things sent directly where you need them in the quantity you need
them. That's common for business. Warren CA2020-07-038
- 10 -
observed in the truck of the U-Haul were reasonable under the circumstances. However,
"once the issue of the rental agreement and suspicious jewelry [were] dispelled, the Trooper
ha[d] nothing other than a general, unspecified suspicion of the 'potential of criminal activity'
and [Shaibi's] nervous behavior" as a basis for prolonging the detention. The court
concluded that
[a]t the time he asks to view the items in the rear of the vehicle,
the Trooper has no legal authority to continue the detention. It
is apparent from Exhibit 1 that this traffic stop is going to
continue indefinitely until the Trooper finds evidence of a crime.
Such is the essence of a "fishing expedition" and does not
withstand constitutional scrutiny where the basis of the stop
boils down to little more than two nervous men of middle eastern
descent driving a rented truck containing some unusual
personal items.
Therefore, the Court concludes that the Trooper's continued
detention of [Shaibi], after identifying the driver, viewing the
rental agreement and allaying the concerns regarding the
jewelry, is unreasonable and not based on any articulable facts
giving rise to the suspicion of illegal activity. The Court further
finds that the consent of [Shaibi], because it was obtained after
a period of detention longer than is constitutionally permitted, is
{¶ 21} The state appealed the trial court's decision, raising the following as its sole
assignment of error:
{¶ 23} The state argues the trial court erred in granting Shaibi's motion to suppress
as the evidence presented at the suppression hearing demonstrated that the traffic stop
was not unreasonably prolonged beyond the initial purpose for the stop. Alternatively, the
state contends that even if it was prolonged, there were "specific and articulable facts which
reasonably warranted continuing the detention up to and even after the discovery of Khat
in the rear of the U-Haul." The state argues that Shaibi's consent to search the rear of the Warren CA2020-07-038
- 11 -
U-Haul "was provided during a lawful detention, and his consent was freely and voluntarily
given without any duress or coercion from the trooper."
{¶ 24} "Appellate review of a ruling on a motion to suppress presents a mixed
question of law and fact." State v. Turner, Slip Opinion No. 2020-Ohio-6773, ¶ 14, citing
State v. Burnside, 100 Ohio St.3d 152, 2003-Ohio-5372, ¶ 8. The trial court, as the trier of
fact, is in the best position to weigh the evidence to resolve factual questions and evaluate
witness credibility. State v. Vaughn, 12th Dist. Fayette No. CA2014-Ohio-05-012, 2015-
Ohio-828, ¶ 8. Therefore, when reviewing a trial court's decision on a motion to suppress,
this court is bound to accept the trial court's findings of fact if they are supported by
competent, credible evidence. Turner at ¶ 14. "An appellate court, however, independently
reviews the trial court's legal conclusions based on those facts and determines, without
deference to the trial court's decision, whether as a matter of law, the facts satisfy the
appropriate legal standard." State v. Cochran, 12th Dist. Preble No. CA2006-10-023, 2007-
Ohio-3353, ¶ 12.
{¶ 25} "The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 14,
Article I of the Ohio Constitution prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures, including
unreasonable automobile stops." Bowling Green v. Godwin, 110 Ohio St.3d 58, 2006-Ohio3563, ¶ 11. "When a defendant files a motion to suppress alleging the traffic stop
constituted an unlawful seizure, 'the state bears the burden of demonstrating the validity of
[the] traffic stop.'" State v. Turner, 12th Dist. Clermont No. CA2018-11-082, 2021-Ohio541, ¶ 11, quoting State v. Bui, 6th Dist. Lucas No. L-19-1028, 2021-Ohio-362, ¶ 29.
Similarly, "[o]nce a warrantless search is established, the burden of persuasion is on the
state to show the validity of the search." Xenia v. Wallace, 37 Ohio St.3d 216, 218 (1988),
citing State v. Kessler, 53 Ohio St.2d 204, 207 (1978). "This flows from the presumption
that searches conducted outside the judicial process, without prior approval by judge or Warren CA2020-07-038
- 12 -
magistrate, are "per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment – subject only to a few
specifically established and well delineated exceptions.'" Id., quoting Coolidge v. New
Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443, 454-455, 91 S.Ct. 2022 (1971).
{¶ 26} It is well established that when the police stop a vehicle based on probable
cause that a traffic violation has occurred, the stop is reasonable under the Fourth
Amendment. Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806, 810, 116 S.Ct. 1769 (1996); Dayton
v. Erickson, 76 Ohio St.3d 3 (1996), syllabus; Godwin at ¶ 11. "During a traffic stop, a law
enforcement officer may detain a motorist for a period of time sufficient to issue a citation
and to perform routine procedures such as a computer check on the motorist's driver's
license, registration, and vehicle plates." State v. Hill, 12th Dist. Warren No. CA2015-05-
044, 2015-Ohio-4655, ¶ 8, citing State v. Grenoble, 12th Dist. Preble No. CA2010-09-11,
2011-Ohio-2343, ¶ 28. See also Rodriguez v. United States, 575 U.S. 348, 355, 135 S.Ct.
1609 (2015). "Because addressing the infraction is the purpose of the stop, it may 'last no
longer than is necessary to effectuate th[at] purpose.' * * * Authority for the seizure thus
ends when tasks tied to the traffic infraction are – or reasonably should have been –
completed." Id. at 354, quoting Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 500, 103 S.Ct. 1319 (1983).
{¶ 27} However, the detention of a stopped motorist "may continue beyond [the
normal] time frame when additional facts are encountered that give rise to a reasonable,
articulable suspicion of criminal activity beyond that which prompted the initial stop." State
v. Batchili, 113 Ohio St.3d 403, 2007-Ohio-2204, ¶ 15. Where reasonable and articulable
suspicion of criminal activity exists, "[t]he officer may detain the vehicle for a period of time
reasonably necessary to confirm or dispel his suspicions of criminal activity." State v.
Williams, 12th Dist. Clinton No. CA2009-08-014, 2010-Ohio-1523, ¶ 18.
Traffic Stop - EPIC Check and Sanad's Photograph
{¶ 28} In the present case, Trooper Doebrich observed Sanad commit two traffic Warren CA2020-07-038
- 13 -
violations – speeding and following another vehicle too closely – which gave him probable
cause to effectuate a traffic stop. Once stopped, the trooper was permitted to detain Sanad
and Shaibi for that period of time necessary to issue the traffic citations to Sanad. As Sanad
could not present his driver's license, Trooper Doebrich was entitled to detain him to verify
that Sanad had a valid license and to conduct "ordinary inquiries incident to [the traffic]
stop." Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 408, 125 S.Ct. 834 (2005).
{¶ 29} The state contends that part of the "ordinary inquiries" incident to the traffic
stop included obtaining a photograph of Sanad and the results of the EPIC check for both
men. As those items had not been received at the time Trooper Doebrich reapproached
Shaibi and requested consent to search the U-Haul truck, the state argues the traffic stop
was not prolonged beyond the time needed to issue the citation.
{¶ 30} Typically, "ordinary inquiries" incident to a traffic stop "involve checking the
driver's license, determining whether there are outstanding warrants against the driver, and
inspecting the automobile's registration and proof of insurance." Rodriguez, 575 U.S. at
355. "These checks serve the same objective as enforcement of the traffic code: ensuring
that vehicles on the road are operated safely and responsibly." Id.
{¶ 31} Contrary to the state's arguments, the EPIC check requested by Trooper
Doebrich was not an ordinary traffic stop inquiry as it was not related to the mission of the
traffic stop. While "[a]n officer * * * may conduct certain unrelated checks during an
otherwise lawful traffic stop * * * he may not do so in a way that prolongs the stop, absent
the reasonable suspicion ordinarily demanded to justify detaining an individual." Id. Though
the state attempts to equate an EPIC check with a standard background check, the trooper's
testimony from the motion to suppress hearing suggests otherwise. In his limited testimony
about the EPIC check, Trooper Doebrich explained that it is something that cannot be
accessed immediately as it "takes some time" to obtain the information from an outside Warren CA2020-07-038
- 14 -
agency and the information was not needed to issue the traffic citations. Furthermore, the
state's brief does not advance any reason or reference any testimony from the suppression
hearing explaining how the EPIC check was related to the enforcement of the traffic code
and ensuring that the U-Haul truck was being operated safely and responsibly. Accordingly,
the EPIC check was not an inquiry incident to the traffic stop and the prolonged detention
of Shaibi to await receipt of the EPIC check results, therefore, had to be supported by
reasonable articulable suspicion.
{¶ 32} The state also argues that Shaibi's continued detention was justified while
Trooper Doebrich awaited receipt of a photograph of Sanad. Presumably, this was to
confirm Sanad's identity. However, the record does not reflect that there was any concern
about the reliability of the identifying information that Sanad provided to the trooper or any
concern about the information related by the intel analyst after running Sanad's information
and verifying Sanad's New York license. Though the dissent posits that even after verifying
Sanad's name, date of birth, social security number, and valid New York driver's license
with the intel analyst, Trooper Doebrich still needed to "confirm whether the driver was, in
fact, the person he * * * said [he was]." However, neither the recording of the traffic stop
nor the trooper's testimony supports this theory. The trooper never indicated that he
doubted Sanad's identity. Additionally, when asked by the intel analyst if the trooper wanted
a photograph of Sanad when Sanad's identifying information was initially run, Trooper
Doebrich responded, "No. I just need to see if you can just pull it up."4 Therefore, there is

4. The dissent attempts to tie the EPIC check to Trooper Doebrich's ability to see a photograph of Sanad and
theorizes that the trooper may have wanted to view the photograph because of Sanad's hesitation in reciting
his social security number, as this "could easily have been an indication [Sanad] was using someone else's
identifying information." However, there was no testimony offered by the trooper indicating that (1) the officer
was concerned about Sanad's identity or (2) that the results of the EPIC check would include a picture of
Sanad or otherwise act to verify Sanad's identity. The state bears the burden of presenting evidence
demonstrating the validity of a warrantless seizure or search. Xenia v. Wallace, 37 Ohio St.3d 216, 218
(1988). If the trooper had concerns about Sanad's identity and needed to prolong the stop to investigate Warren CA2020-07-038
- 15 -
no justification for the trooper's continued detention to await a photograph of Sanad. Lest
there be any doubt that Sanad's photograph or the results of the EPIC check were
unnecessary to complete the traffic stop, Trooper Doebrich testified that by the time he
exited his cruiser after speaking with Sanad and returned to the U-Haul truck to speak with
Shaibi, he had everything he needed to complete the traffic citation and only wanted to
confirm the U-Haul's rental agreement.
{¶ 33} It is the state's burden and legal requirement to justify the need for the EPIC
check and Sanad's photograph if the items are going to be relied upon to prolong Shaibi's
detention. As the record does not reflect the justification for the EPIC check and the
necessity of a photograph of Sanad, they may not serve as the basis for Shaibi's continued
detention beyond the time necessary to complete the routine tasks associated with issuing
a traffic citation.
Prolonged Detention
{¶ 34} Although Shaibi was detained beyond the time necessary to complete the
purpose of the traffic stop, that does not end the inquiry of whether the prolonged detention
violated the Fourth Amendment. As stated above, the detention of a stopped motorist "may
continue beyond [the normal] time frame when additional facts are encountered that give
rise to a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity beyond that which prompted
the initial stop." Batchili, 2007-Ohio-2204 at ¶ 15.
{¶ 35} "Reasonable articulable suspicion exists when there are specific and
articulable facts which, taken together, with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably
warrant the intrusion." Hill, 2015-Ohio-4655 at ¶ 10, citing State v. Bobo, 37 Ohio St.3d
177, 178 (1988). "The 'reasonable and articulable' standard applied to a prolonged traffic

whether a false identity had been used, it was incumbent upon the state to present such evidence. This court
cannot and will not assume facts not in the record. Warren CA2020-07-038
- 16 -
stop encompasses the totality of the circumstances, and a court may not evaluate in
isolation each articulated reason for the stop." Batchili at paragraph two of the syllabus,
applying United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266, 122 S.Ct. 744 (2002). Reasonable and
articulable suspicion is determined by evaluating the totality of the circumstances "through
the eyes of a reasonable and prudent police officer on the scene who must react to events
as they unfold." State v. Popp, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2010-05-128, 2011-Ohio-791, ¶ 13.
"Reasonable suspicion is more than an ill-defined hunch; it must be based on a
'particularized and objective basis for suspecting the particular person * * * of criminal
activity.'" State v. Hunter, 151 Ohio App.3d 276, 2002-Ohio-7326, ¶ 31 (9th Dist.), quoting
United States v. Cortez, 449 U.S. 411, 417-418, 101 S.Ct. 690 (1981). See also State v.
Martin, 12th Dist. Fayette No. CA2012-06-020, 2013-Ohio-1846, ¶ 13.
{¶ 36} The trial court found, and we agree, that Trooper Doebrich had reasonable
and articulable suspicion to prolong the traffic stop in order to view the U-Haul rental
agreement and dispel his suspicions about the jewelry found in the bed of the truck.
However, once the trooper verified that the U-Haul was lawfully rented and that the jewelry
was inexpensive costume jewelry related to Shaibi's business, the trial court determined
that the trooper had no legal authority to continue the detention of Shaibi as the trooper
"ha[d] nothing other than a general, unspecified suspicion of 'potential criminal activity' and
nervous behavior." The state disagrees with the trial court's finding, arguing that the
following facts gave rise to reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity justifying
Shaibi's continued detention: (1) the initial "nervous driving behavior" of the U-Haul truck
in slowing down upon approaching the trooper's stationary position on the interstate; (2)
Shaibi's nervousness, which continued throughout the duration of the stop and was unusual
given that he was a passenger who had not committed the traffic violations that led to the
traffic stop; (3) Sanad's argumentative behavior and denial of speeding; (4) the vehicle Warren CA2020-07-038
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Shaibi and Sanad were traveling in was a rental truck, which the trooper testified is
commonly "stolen, miss-rented and then used for other purposes;" (5) the U-Haul truck was
operating on a major drug highway corridor and was traveling from Cincinnati to Buffalo,
two "source cities" for drug and criminal activity; (6) Sanad seemed unsure of his social
security number when providing it to the trooper; (7) Sanad had some hesitancy in
answering Trooper Doebrich's questions about why Cincinnati was chosen as a location for
the family business, where exactly the Cincinnati store was located, and which family
members owned the business; and (8) Shaibi stated that the U-Haul contained IKEA
furniture for his and his cousin's personal use and then later added it also had inventory
("hair stuff") for his beauty supply business. Relying on these factors, and citing to our
previous decisions in State v. Hill, 2015-Ohio-4655; State v. Stephenson, 12th Dist. Warren
No. CA2014-05-073, 2015-Ohio-233; State v. Kilgore, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA98-09-201,
1999 Ohio App. LEXIS 2985 (June 28, 1999); and the Third District's decision in State v.
Gibson, 3d Dist. Allen No. 1-15-22, 2015-Ohio-3812, the state contends there was
reasonable and articulable suspicion to prolong the traffic stop for the trooper to investigate.
{¶ 37} In State v. Hill, we upheld the trial court's denial of a motion to suppress after
determining that under the totality of the circumstances, there was reasonable and
articulable suspicion for law enforcement to extend the traffic stop and conduct a canine
search of a motor vehicle. Hill at ¶ 13. There, continued detention of the vehicle was lawful
where the vehicle was driving on a known drug corridor, neither the driver nor the
passenger-defendant were listed on the rental agreement for the vehicle, and the
passenger was nervous and refused to maintain eye contact with the officer. Id.
{¶ 38} In State v. Stephenson, we upheld the trial court's denial of a motion to
suppress after determining that under the totality of the circumstances, there was
reasonable and articulable suspicion of drug-related activity to extend the duration of a Warren CA2020-07-038
- 18 -
traffic stop and to call a canine unit. Stephenson at ¶ 23. The officer had pulled over the
vehicle in which the defendant was a passenger after observing the driver commit a traffic
violation and observing that the driver and the defendant drove by the officer while "staring
straight ahead" with "rigid postures" and with the driver having his arms "locked out." Id. at
¶ 3, 23. In addition to this uncommon posture and behavior, the occupants of the vehicle
were nervous and the defendant refused to make eye contact with the officer, the driver
was unable to produce the vehicle's registration or proof of insurance, the vehicle was
traveling from Georgia to Ohio on I-71 – a known drug corridor, the occupants provided
inconsistent stories to the officer regarding the purpose of their trip, the length of their stay,
and how long they had been friends, and the short duration of the men's stay in Ohio was
suspicious given the amount of time it took to drive to and from Georgia. Id. at ¶ 23.
{¶ 39} In State v. Kilgore, we upheld the trial court's denial of a motion to suppress
after concluding that an officer had reasonable articulable suspicion to extend a traffic stop
where the officer observed that the driver of the motor vehicle was extremely nervous, his
answers to questions concerning his travel origin and destination were internally conflicting
and also conflicted with answers provided by his passenger, and both the origin and
destination cities of the defendant's travels were known drug locations. Kilgore, 1999 Oho
App. LEXIS 2985 at *6.
{¶ 40} In State v. Gibson, the Third District upheld the trial court's denial of a
defendant's motion to suppress after determining that under the totality of the
circumstances, an officer had reasonable suspicion to prolong a traffic stop to investigate
drug-related activity. Gibson, 2015-Ohio-3812 at ¶ 19-23. Upon initiating a traffic stop, the
officer discovered that the defendant-driver was not listed as an authorized driver on the
vehicle's rental agreement, he was traveling on I-75 from Detroit, Michigan, a known
distribution center, to Charleston, South Carolina, a known user city, and he was unable to Warren CA2020-07-038
- 19 -
provide consistent answers to several of the officer's background questions. Id. at ¶ 20-21.
These facts, combined with the driver's growing nervousness during the stop, provided the
officer with the authority to detain the driver beyond the time period necessary to issue a
warning for speeding. Id. at ¶ 23.
{¶ 41} The case before us shares some of the same circumstances present in the
cases cited and relied on by the state, including the suspicious manner in which the U-Haul
truck drove by Trooper Doebrich (the truck's drop in speed as it approached the trooper's
stationary position), the fact that the rented U-Haul was being driven on a major drug
corridor to and from "source cities," and Shaibi's nervousness during the traffic stop.
However, unlike the cases relied on by the state, the U-Haul involved in the present case
was properly rented in Shaibi's name and Shaibi's and Sanad's accounts of their travels,
dealings in Ohio, and U-Haul cargo were substantially consistent. Additionally, in the
present case, there were no other unusual aspects of Sanad's and Shaibi's travels or
statements to the trooper that raised the suspicion of criminal activity, such as driving a
great distance for an abbreviated stay or forgetfulness of where they were traveling.
Compare with Stephenson at ¶ 6-7.
{¶ 42} As we previously stated, under the reasonable and articulable standard
applied to a prolonged traffic stop, the totality of the circumstances relied on by the officer
must be considered together, rather than evaluating each articulated reason for the
prolonged stop in isolation from the others. State v. Batchili, 2007-Ohio-2204 at paragraph
two of the syllabus. Interstate 71, like all interstate highways, has been characterized as a
"major drug corridor." However, not all individuals traveling on I-71 are engaged in drug
activity. Furthermore, Shaibi's nervousness, as observed by Trooper Doebrich, is not a
reliable factor of criminal activity. Though the fact that Shaibi was a passenger may elevate
the suspicion surrounding his nervousness, we have previously found that nervousness "'is Warren CA2020-07-038
- 20 -
an unreliable indicator, especially in the context of a traffic stop.'" State v. Casey, 12th Dist.
Warren No. CA2013-10-090, 2014-Ohio-2586, ¶ 26, quoting United States v. Richardson,
385 F.3d 625, 630 (6th Cir.2004). These factors – driving on an interstate highway and
Shaibi's nervousness in the presence of law enforcement – must be viewed in the context
of the remaining circumstances surrounding the stop. The question is whether the other
factors, when looked at in combination with the U-Haul truck's presence on I-71 and Shaibi's
nervousness, reasonably warrant further detention on the basis of suspected criminal
activity. "A 'series of acts, each of them perhaps innocent,' may nonetheless, when viewed
together, give the police officer justification for conducting further investigation." State v.
Ramey, 129 Ohio App.3d 409, 414 (1st Dist.1998), quoting United States v. Sokolow, 490
U.S. 1, 9-10, 109 S.Ct. 1581 (1989). "'[T]he relevant inquiry is not whether the particular
conduct is innocent or guilty, but the degree of suspicion that attaches to particular types of
noncriminal acts.'" Gibson, 2015-Ohio-3812 at ¶ 18, quoting Sokolow at 10.
{¶ 43} We find that under the totality of the circumstances, there were not sufficient
articulable facts giving rise to a suspicion of specific criminal activity to justify Trooper
Doebrich's continued detention of Shaibi after verifying that the rental agreement was in
Shaibi's name and dispelling Trooper Doebrich's suspicions surrounding the jewelry.5 Other
than the jewelry, Trooper Doebrich did not observe anything suspicious or concerning in

5. There is no indication that the Arizona license plate on the U-Haul created the suspicion of illegal activity.
In fact, Trooper Doebrich testified that U-Hauls are commonly rented with Arizona plates. Specifically, when
questioned about the plates, the trooper testified as follows:
[PROSECUTOR:] All right. Before you get out of the cruiser, do you make
any other – do you run any information at all before you approach?
[TROOPER DOEBRICH]: Because it's a U-Haul, it was rented out through
Arizona, I typically don't run the plate. I'll just give that to our dispatcher.
[PROSECUTOR]: Is that unusual for it to be out of Arizona.
[TROOPER DOEBRICH]: No, it's a common plate to go on U-Hauls. Warren CA2020-07-038
- 21 -
the cab of the U-Haul truck. When questioned, Sanad and Shaibi provided relatively
consistent accounts of their travels and the contents of their cargo. Both men referenced a
family business, with stores located in Cincinnati and Buffalo, and indicated they were
transporting IKEA furniture back to Buffalo, although Shaibi added that they were also
transporting "hair stuff" for the business. Trooper Doebrich had concerns about Sanad's
hesitancy in answering some of the questions about the family business and seemed
particularly concerned that Sanad was unable to identify the location of the Cincinnati store
with more specificity other than stating it was "on Kemper." However, the trooper was
informed by Sanad that the Cincinnati business had only been open for a short time (around
three months) and this was Sanad's first trip to Cincinnati. Additionally, though Sanad
appeared to be somewhat unsure of his social security number when he provided it to
Trooper Doebrich, which the trooper found to be suspicious, the recording of the stop
demonstrates the social security number was provided within seconds of being requested
and Sanad provided the correct number on his first recitation.
{¶ 44} When viewed collectively, the circumstances surrounding the continued
detention of Shaibi do not give rise to a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity
beyond that needed to verify the rental agreement and investigate the jewelry found in the
cab of the truck. At the time Trooper Doebrich continued to detain Shaibi to ask additional
questions about the truck's cargo and to ask permission to view the items in the trailer of
the truck, he had nothing more than generalized, unspecified suspicion, or an ill-defined
hunch, that there was the "potential for criminal activity," though he could not put his finger
on what that activity might be.
{¶ 45} We agree with the trial court that it is apparent from the recording of the traffic
stop that Trooper Doebrich was engaged in a fishing expedition for evidence of a crime and
his detainment of the U-Haul truck was "going to continue indefinitely until the Trooper Warren CA2020-07-038
- 22 -
[found] evidence of a crime." Under the totality of the circumstances, there was no legal
basis to continue to detain Shaibi after Trooper Doebrich confirmed the truck's rental
agreement and the trooper's suspicions regarding the jewelry were dispelled.
Consent to Search Not Valid
{¶ 46} As the Ohio Supreme Court has explained,
[w]hen a police officer's objective justification to continue
detention of a person stopped for a traffic violation for the
purpose of searching the person's vehicle is not related to the
purpose of the original stop, and when that continued detention
is not based on any articulable facts giving rise to a suspicion of
some illegal activity justifying an extension of the detention, the
continued detention to conduct a search constitutes an illegal
State v. Robinette, 80 Ohio St.3d 234 (1997), paragraph one of the syllabus.
{¶ 47} At the time Trooper Doebrich requested consent to view the contents of the
U-Haul trailer, his legal right to detain Shaibi had expired. Although Shaibi was being
unlawfully detained, our analysis into the validity of the search is not complete. "Voluntary
consent, determined under the totality of the circumstances may validate an otherwise
illegal detention and search." Id. at 241, citing Davis v. United States, 328 U.S. 582, 593-
594, 66 S.Ct. 1256 (1946).
{¶ 48} Where an "individual has been unlawfully detained by law enforcement, for
his or her consent to be considered an independent act of free will, the totality of the
circumstances must clearly demonstrate that a reasonable person would believe that he or
she had the freedom to refuse to answer further questions and could in fact leave." Id. at
paragraph three of the syllabus, citing Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 103 S.Ct. 1319
(1983); and Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 93 S.Ct. 2041 (1973). "'[T]he State
has the burden of proving that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely
and voluntarily given, a burden that is not satisfied by showing a mere submission to a claim Warren CA2020-07-038
- 23 -
of lawful authority.'" (Emphasis sic.) Id. at 243, quoting Royer at 497. "[W]hile [a] subject's
knowledge of a right to refuse [consent to search] is a factor to be taken into account, the
prosecution is not required to demonstrate such knowledge as a prerequisite to establishing
consent." State v. Smith, 12th Dist. Warren No. CA2012-03-022, 2012-Ohio-5962, ¶ 19,
citing Robinette at 242-243.
{¶ 49} The totality of the circumstances in this case do not indicate that a reasonable
person in Shaibi's position would have believed he had the freedom to refuse to answer
Trooper Doebrich's questions and was free to leave the scene. By the time Trooper
Doebrich sought to obtain Shaibi's consent to search the U-Haul's trailer, Shaibi had been
detained for 22 minutes, had been asked to remove himself from the cab of the U-Haul
truck, and the truck's driver remained secured in the back of the trooper's cruiser. As the
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has recognized, "[w]hen the driver is not free to leave, neither
are his passengers; indeed, the passengers are at the mercy of any police officer who is
withholding the return of their driver." Richardson, 385 F.3d at 630. Additionally, Shaibi,
who told the trooper it was his first time being pulled over, had not been informed of his right
to refuse consent for the search. As the Ohio Supreme Court noted in Robinette, "[i]f police
wish to pursue a policy of searching vehicles without probable cause or reasonably
articulable facts, the police should ensure that the detainee knows that he or she is free to
refuse consent despite the officer's request to search or risk that any fruits of any such
search might be suppressed." Robinette, 80 Ohio St.3d at 245, fn. 6.6

6. We in no way hold or suggest that an individual must be told that he or she has a right to refuse consent.
Both the Ohio Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court have clearly indicated that while a
subject's knowledge of a right to refuse is a factor to be considered when looking at the totality of the
circumstances, it is not a prerequisite to establishing voluntary consent. State v. Robinette, 80 Ohio St.3d
234, 242-243 (1997); Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 248-249, 93 S.Ct. 2041 (1973). However,
as the Ohio Supreme Court recognized in Robinette, there are certain circumstances when informing a subject
of his right to refuse consent for a search "would weigh persuasively in favor of the voluntariness of the
search." Robinette at 245, fn. 6. Warren CA2020-07-038
- 24 -
{¶ 50} Accordingly, as any reasonable person in Shaibi's position would have felt
compelled to submit to the trooper's request to search the trailer, rather than consenting as
a voluntary act of free will, we find that consent for the search was not freely and voluntarily
given. The trial court did not error in granting Shaibi's motion to suppress and the state's
sole assignment of error is overruled.

Outcome: Judgment affirmed.

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