This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).






Joseph Louis Forbrook,




State of Minnesota,



Filed May 2, 2006


Klaphake, Judge


Olmsted County District Court

File No. K9-04-369


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN  55101-2134; and


Raymond F. Schmitz, Olmsted County Attorney, David F. McLeod, Assistant County Attorney, 151 SE Fourth Street, Rochester, MN  55904 (for respondent)


Tedman J. Heim, Arendt & Heim Law Office, 3169 Wellner Drive NE, Suite C, Rochester, MN  55906 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Peterson, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellant Joseph Louis Forbrook challenges his conviction for first-degree controlled substance crime, Minn. Stat. §§ 152.096, subd. 1; .021, subd. 2a (2002), arguing that evidence seized from his car should have been suppressed as the fruit of an unlawful stop and seizure.  Because police officers had a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity that permitted them to make an investigative stop, we affirm.


The appellate court independently reviews the facts and determines as a matter of law whether the district court erred in its suppression order.  State v. Harris, 590 N.W.2d 90, 98 (Minn. 1999).  Police officers may make an investigative stop of an automobile if they have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity that is not the product of “mere whim, caprice or idle curiosity.”  State v. Blacksten, 507 N.W.2d 842, 846 (Minn. 1993) (quotation omitted).  Reasonable articulable suspicion must exist at the moment of the stop or seizure, but it may be based on an informant’s tip, if the tip has indicia of reliability.  State v. Bergerson, 659 N.W.2d 791, 795 (Minn. App. 2003); Jobe v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 609 N.W.2d 919, 921 (Minn. App. 2000).  Identified citizen informants are presumed to be reliable.  Jobe, 609 N.W.2d at 919.

            Here, Olmsted County deputy sheriffs received a tip from a loss prevention officer at a Target store in Rochester that appellant and another man had entered the store together, but thereafter split up; each had purchased two boxes of pseudoephedrine, a known precursor material in methamphetamine manufacture; and they were joined in the parking lot by a third man, who had also purchased pseudoephedrine.  By means of a parking lot surveillance camera, the loss prevention officer observed the men in appellant’s car punching the pills out of the individual blister packs.  He kept them under observation by following appellant’s car after it left the parking lot until sheriff’s deputies stopped the car in order to investigate.  The deputies noticed that appellant was very nervous and that his voice and body were shaking.  When asked about his purchase of pseudoephedrine, appellant stated that the pills were intended for his mother, who was sick.

            Standing alone, the purchase of common household items that could be used for innocent or criminal purposes, such as drug manufacturing, is not sufficient to create a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.  Bergerson, 659 N.W.2d at 796.  But an investigatory stop and seizure may be justified when such a purchase is combined with other suspicious behavior.  Id.; State v. Vereb, 643 N.W.2d 342, 348 (Minn. App. 2002) (finding reasonable suspicion of criminal activity based on large quantity of pseudoephedrine purchased, evasive driving conduct, confusion on part of accused, lack of identification, and large amount of cash).  

            Our inquiry must be “whether an officer, at the time of a stop, under the totality of the circumstances, had a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.”  Jobe, 609 N.W.2d at 922.  Based on the record here, we conclude that the loss prevention officer’s observations, coupled with appellant’s nervous and evasive behavior, provided the deputies with a basis for a reasonable articulable suspicion of criminal activity; therefore, the investigatory stop and temporary seizure were lawful.