Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. D.C. Docket No. CR294-52-1. Original Opinion Previously Reported at: 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 14714.
Before Hatchett, Circuit Judge, Henderson, Senior Circuit Judge, and Mills,*fn* District Judge.
RICHARD MILLS, District Judge:
Following a jury trial in which she was convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)) and violating the Travel Act (18 U.S.C. § 1952(a)(3), Mary Lee Banshee was sentenced to 97 months imprisonment. The only issue on appeal is whether the district court properly denied a motion to suppress cocaine found during a search. Although for different reasons than those employed by the district court, we conclude the search was lawful.
At approximately 5:00 a.m. on July 31, 1994, Mary Lee Banshee and Lee Ann Johnson were passengers in a rented car being driven by Kenneth Parker northbound on I-95 in Camden County, Georgia. Because the car was being operated with the high-beam lights on when there was traffic in the southbound lane, Deputy Sheriff William Todd stopped the vehicle. The traffic stop was both video and audio taped.*fn1
When he stopped the car, Deputy Todd approached and told Parker to get out of the car. Once Parker got out, Deputy Todd asked him for his license. Parker failed to present a license but said he lived in South Carolina and had a license from the District of Columbia. Parker also told Deputy Todd that he and his passengers were enroute from a vacation in Miami, Florida and that his girl friend, Banshee, had rented the car.
While a second officer instituted a computer records check, Deputy Todd approached Banshee who was in the passenger seat. In response to Deputy Todd's questions, Banshee stated that a friend had rented the car and that they were returning from Orlando, Florida where they had gone to Disney World. Banshee indicated that Orlando was as far south as the trio had traveled.
The computer check revealed that Parker did not have a license from either South Carolina or from the District of Columbia--although the problem may have been with Parker's first name. Nevertheless, Deputy Todd only issued a warning ticket, instructed Parker that ...