October 20, 1998
                        No. 3--97--0745

                              IN THE


                         SECOND DISTRICT

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE         )  Appeal from the Circuit
OF ILLINOIS,                    )  Court of Du Page County.
     Plaintiff-Appellee,        )
v.                              )  No. 96--CF--2013
ALBERT SAFUNWA,                 )  Honorable 
                                )  George J. Bakalis,
     Defendant-Appellant.       )  Judge, Presiding.

     PRESIDING JUSTICE GEIGER delivered the opinion of the court:
     Following a bench trial, the defendant, Albert Safunwa, was
convicted of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (720
ILCS 570/402(c) (West 1996)) and sentenced to 24 months' probation. 
On appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court erred in
denying his motion to suppress evidence.  We affirm.

     Prior to trial, the defendant moved to suppress the drug
evidence that formed the basis of his conviction.  At the
suppression hearing, Officer Matthew Block of the United States
Marshal Service testified that, on September 30, 1996, he and his
partner were in search of a fugitive named Kenny Ladipo.  Ladipo
was wanted on a federal warrant for the distribution of heroin.  In
an attempt to locate Ladipo, Block and his partner were conducting
surveillance at the home of Ladipo's wife in Melrose Park. 
Although Block had never seen Ladipo before, he did have a
photograph of the fugitive.

     During surveillance, Block observed a white B.M.W. parked in
the home's driveway with an individual sitting inside.  A short
time later, another vehicle arrived at the house.  At this time,
the drivers of both vehicles exited the cars and walked to the rear
of the house.  After 15 to 20 minutes, the driver of the B.M.W.
returned to his car and pulled out of the driveway. 

     Block and his partner decided to follow the B.M.W. because its
driver matched the approximate height, weight, and age descriptions
of Ladipo.  In actuality, however, the vehicle was not being driven
by Ladipo, but by the defendant, Albert Safunwa.  They followed the
vehicle for approximately half an hour.  At one point, they were
able to pull up next to the B.M.W. at a red light and get a closer
look at the driver.  Based upon this observation, Block believed
that the driver matched the photograph of Ladipo.  Specifically,
Block noted that both individuals had the same type of mustache and
the same hairstyle.  As Block continued to follow the B.M.W., he
ran a check on the vehicle's license plates and discovered that it
was registered to the defendant.

     Block testified that he and his partner proceeded to conduct
a traffic stop of the vehicle in Lombard.  At the time they stopped
the vehicle, Block acknowledged that he did not have a search
warrant for the vehicle or an arrest warrant for the defendant. 
Block also acknowledged that he had not observed the vehicle commit
any traffic violations prior to the stop.  After stopping the
vehicle, Block asked the defendant for his driver's license and the
defendant handed him a traffic citation bearing his name.

     At that point, Block conducted a computer search to verify the
defendant's identity and to see if the license was valid.  This
computer search took approximately 30 seconds.  The search revealed
that the defendant's license had been suspended.  Block
acknowledged that, at the time he ran the computer check, he did
not suspect that the defendant was driving on an invalid license or
that the defendant had committed any other crime.  Block also was
unable to indicate in what manner the license check would have
given him any further information in determining whether the
defendant was in fact Ladipo.

     Block subsequently arrested the defendant for driving with a
suspended license.  Following his arrest, the defendant was taken
to a local police station and searched.  During the search, the
police apparently discovered the drug evidence at issue.

     On September 10, 1997, the trial court denied the defendant's
motion to suppress.  The trial court found that the officers had a
reasonable basis for stopping the car, based on the similarity
between the defendant's and Ladipo's appearance.  Although the
trial court noted that a close inspection of the photograph
demonstrated that Ladipo and the defendant were different
individuals, it nonetheless ruled that the police were justified in
running a search on the defendant's license, commenting:

     "[A]fter a valid contact between police and a citizen[,] a
     request for a drivers license and check on the license is
     allowable so long as it is of a momentary intrusion and of
     limited duration.  Here the evidence shows that the detention
     and intrusion [were] quite minimal--some sixty to ninety
     seconds.  The public interest in allowing the license check
     outweighs the minimal intrusion on the defendant[;] for this
     reason his motion is denied."
     In so ruling, the trial court noted that section 6--112 of the
Illinois Vehicle Code (the Code) (625 ILCS 5/6--112 (West 1996))
requires all drivers to be in immediate possession of their
licenses and to display the license upon request from authorized
personnel.  The trial court noted that this statute would have no
meaning if officers were not permitted to check the tendered
license's validity.

     On appeal, the defendant argues that the police obtained the
drug evidence as a result of an illegal search and seizure. 
Specifically, the defendant argues that the officers had no basis
to stop his vehicle because they had already determined that the
vehicle was not registered to Ladipo and because the defendant was
clearly not the person in the photograph.  Additionally, the
defendant argues that, once the marshals stopped the car and
realized that he was not Ladipo, they had no right to hold him to
check the validity of the license.

     Ordinarily, a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress
evidence will not be disturbed unless it is manifestly erroneous. 
People v. Krueger, 175 Ill. 2d 60, 64 (1996).  The trial court's
determination regarding factual matters, including the reasonable
inferences to be drawn from the witnesses' testimony, is entitled
to deference by a reviewing court.  People v. Moore, 286 Ill. App.
3d 649, 652 (1997).  However, when there is no question of fact, we
will review de novo the trial court's ultimate determination as to
whether there existed reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle and
probable cause to conduct a search.  People v. Branch, 295 Ill.
App. 3d 110, 112 (1998).  In this case, the trial court made the
specific finding that, upon a close inspection, the defendant did
not resemble Ladipo's photograph.  As there has been no showing
that such a finding was erroneous, we will abide by this
determination and will only concern ourselves with the pertinent
legal questions.  See Branch, 295 Ill. App. 3d 110, 112 (1998).

     Both the United States and Illinois Constitutions protect
citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.  U.S. Const.,
amend. IV; Ill. Const. 1970, art. 1, 6; People v. Fulton, 289 Ill.
App. 3d 970, 973 (1997).  Under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 21-22,
20 L. Ed. 2d 889, 905-06, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 1880 (1968), the fourth
amendment permits minimally intrusive investigatory stops of people
when there is a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.  See
also 725 ILCS 5/107--14 (West 1996).  The length and scope of the
detention "must be 'strictly tied to and justified by' the
circumstances which rendered its initiation permissible."  Terry,
392 U.S. at 19, 20 L. Ed. 2d at 904, 88 S. Ct. at 1878, quoting
Warden v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 310, 18 L. Ed. 2d 782, 794, 87 S.
Ct. 1642, 1652 (1967) (Fortas, J., concurring).  The investigative
detention must be temporary and last no longer than is necessary to
effectuate the purpose of the stop.  People v. Koutsakis, 272 Ill.
App. 3d 159, 163 (1995).

     We agree with the trial court that the initial stop of the
defendant's vehicle was valid, as the officers had a reasonable
belief that the defendant was Ladipo.  The defendant matched the
approximate height, weight, and age descriptions of Ladipo, and the
officers observed him enter the home of Ladipo's wife.  When Block
pulled up alongside the defendant's vehicle at a traffic light, he
also observed that the defendant had the same type of mustache and
hairstyle as Ladipo.  Based on such circumstances, we believe that
the officers reasonably believed that the defendant was Ladipo and
therefore had a justifiable basis to stop his car and request
identification.  Sufficient probability, rather than certainty, is
the touchstone of reasonableness under the fourth amendment.  See
Hill v. California, 401 U.S. 797, 803-04, 28 L. Ed. 2d 484, 490, 91
S. Ct. 1106, 1110-11 (1971) (when officers have probable cause to
arrest one party and they reasonably mistake a second party for the
first party, then arrest of the second party is valid for purposes
of fourth amendment search and seizure analysis).

     However, as noted by the trial court, our analysis does not
end here.  We must also determine whether it was permissible for
the officers to detain the defendant and run a check on his license
even after he provided them with identification indicating that he
was not Ladipo.  As noted above, the trial court found that a close
inspection of the photograph of Ladipo and the defendant would have
shown that they were different individuals.

     We note that, when a police officer stops a vehicle for a
minor traffic violation, the officer may briefly detain the driver
to request a valid driver's license and run a warrant check on the
license.  Branch, 295 Ill. App. 3d at 113; Koutsakis, 272 Ill. App. 
at 163.  In the instant case, however, Block acknowledged that the
defendant had not committed any traffic violations at the time of
the stop.   We therefore must consider whether the stopping of a
vehicle as a result of mistaken identity is, for fourth amendment
purposes, a sufficient justification to conduct a warrant check on
the driver.

     The precise issue here is one upon which there is no direct
Illinois authority.  However, we are aided in our analysis by the
discussion of police investigatory powers contained in People v.
Clodfelder, 172 Ill. App. 3d 1030, 1034-36 (1988).  In that case,
the defendant was stopped by police because his vehicle had no
license plates.  After being stopped, the defendant revealed that
he had a valid license-applied-for sticker issued by the State of
Colorado on his back window.  Clodfelder, 172 Ill. App. 3d at 1034. 
Despite this showing, the police asked for the defendant's driver's
license and ran a check on the license over their radio. 
Clodfelder, 172 Ill. App. 3d at 1034.  The check revealed that
several warrants had been issued for the defendant's arrest.  The
police subsequently searched the defendant's vehicle and found a
.22 caliber rifle.  Clodfelder, 172 Ill. App. 3d at 1034.

     The Clodfelder court affirmed the defendant's conviction,
holding that the evidence was properly obtained.  Clodfelder, 172
Ill. App. 3d at 1036.  The court acknowledged that, had the police
been aware of the valid license-applied-for sticker before the
stop, the initial stop of the defendant would not have been
permissible under Terry.  Clodfelder, 172 Ill. App. 3d at 1035. 
However, because the police did not have such knowledge, the stop
of the defendant's vehicle was justified and the police were
justified in detaining the defendant long enough to confirm
identification and to find out if the defendant was wanted by law
enforcement agencies.  Clodfelder, 172 Ill. App. 3d at 1035-36. 
The court held that the out-of-state sticker provided a justifiable
suspicion to detain the defendant during the check and that such a
detention was only a "slight additional intrusion."  Clodfelder,
172 Ill. App. 3d at 1036.

     Additionally, we note that several Illinois courts have
utilized section 6--112 of the Code to permit police to request
production of a driver's license even in instances where there has
been no initial suspicion of a traffic violation or other criminal
activity.  See People v. McKnight, 198 Ill. App. 3d 530, 533
(1990); People v. Francis, 4 Ill. App. 3d 65, 67 (1971).  Section
6--112 states in part:

     "Every licensee *** shall have his drivers license *** in his
     immediate possession at all times when operating a motor
     vehicle and *** shall display such license *** upon demand
     made *** by a member of the State Police, a sheriff or other
     police officer or designated agent of the Secretary of State." 
     625 ILCS 5/6--112 (West 1996).
     In both McKnight and Francis, courts held that police had the
right to request production of a driver's license without probable
cause and that such a request did not constitute an illegal
seizure.  McKnight, 198 Ill. App. 3d at 533; Francis, 4 Ill. App.
3d at 67.  In these cases, police officers made such a request upon
drivers who were parked on the side of the road.  McKnight, 198
Ill. App. 3d at 531; Francis, 4 Ill. App. 3d at 65-66.  When the
drivers were unable to produce their licenses, the courts held that
the police had reasonable grounds to run the driver's name through
the sheriff's dispatch.  McKnight, 198 Ill. App. 3d at 533;
Francis, 4 Ill. App. 3d at 66-67.  But cf. People v. McVey, 185
Ill. App. 3d 536, 539-40 (1989) (absent probable cause, police may
not conduct a warrant check after driver tenders an apparently
valid license).

     Applying these general principles to the instant case, we
agree with the trial court that the officers could properly conduct
a warrant check on the defendant's license.  Upon the officers'
request, the defendant was unable to produce a valid driver's
license but instead tendered a traffic citation.  Although we
acknowledge that it is permissible to drive a motor vehicle with a
traffic citation, we nonetheless find that, given the context of
the initial stop, the officers had a sufficient justification in
detaining the defendant long enough to confirm the validity of the
defendant's license.  See McKnight, 198 Ill. App. 3d at 533;
Francis, 4 Ill. App. 3d at 66-67.

     Indeed, we believe that the officers' justification to run a
check on the defendant's license in the instant case was far
greater than the justification that was approved by the court in
Clodfelder.  In Clodfelder, the court held that a valid license-
applied-for sticker provided sufficient justification for the
police to detain the driver for a few minutes to run a warrant
check even after the driver had tendered an apparently valid
driver's license.  Clodfelder, 172 Ill. App. 3d at 1035-36.  Here,
the defendant had just been seen at the home of Ladipo's wife and
was unable to tender a valid license upon request.  Despite the
fact that the defendant's appearance did not resemble Ladipo's
photograph, we nonetheless believe that these circumstances
presented sufficient justification to detain the defendant for 30
seconds to confirm the validity of his license and confirm his
identity without running afoul of the fourth amendment.  See People
v. Ellis, 113 Ill. App. 3d 314, 318-20 (1983); Branch, 295 Ill.
App. 3d at 113.

     We note that such a conclusion is in harmony with a number of
other jurisdictions that have held that police may request a
driver's license and run a warrant search without probable cause,
provided there is an initial valid police-citizen contact.  See
State v. Godwin, 121 Idaho 491, 495-96, 826 P.2d 452, 456 (1992)
(officer could request license and conduct warrant check on driver
who voluntarily pulled off highway after his friend in another
vehicle had been stopped for equipment violation); State v. Perry,
39 Or. App. 37, 42, 591 P.2d 379, 381 (1979) (officer could request
driver's license and conduct warrant check on driver whom he
misidentified as a wanted person); Wisconsin v. Ellenbecker, 159
Wis. 2d 91, 97, 464 N.W.2d 427, 430 (Wis. Ct. App. 1990) (officer
conducting a "motorist assist" had right to request driver to
produce driver's license and to run a check on license).

     Moreover, we note that the courts in Godwin and Ellenbecker
considered state statutes almost identical to section 6--112 of the
Code.  Godwin, 121 Idaho at 495-96, 826 P.2d at 456-57;
Ellenbecker, 159 Wis. 2d at 97, 464 N.W.2d at 430.  The court in
Ellenbecker expressly stated that the purpose of such statutes is
to deter persons from driving without a valid license, since a
license is a statement that the driver can be expected to comply
with the state's requirements for driving.  Ellenbecker, 159 Wis.
2d at 98, 464 N.W.2d at 430.  Both Godwin and Ellenbecker held that
there was a valid public interest in permitting an officer to
conduct a records check on a driver's license, as it would assist
the officer in confirming the driver's identification and in
determining the validity and status of the driver's license upon
which the identification is based.  Godwin, 121 Idaho at 495, 826
P.2d at 456; Ellenbecker, 159 Wis. 2d at 98, 464 N.W.2d at 429-30.

     As already noted, in the instant case there was certainly a
valid basis for the initial officer contact.  Given the
circumstances surrounding the stop and the fact that the defendant 
did not tender a valid license, we believe that the officers were
justified in confirming the defendant's identification and in
determining the validity and status of the traffic citation that
the defendant offered as identification.  Requesting a license and
conducting a status check after a lawful contact is but a momentary
occurrence and the intrusion is minimal at worst.  See Clodfelder,
172 Ill. App. 3d at 1036.  We therefore conclude that the trial
court properly denied the defendant's motion to suppress.

     The defendant also briefly argues, without any supporting
authority, that a United States marshal is not empowered to check
the validity of a driver's license.  As the defendant did not raise
this argument at trial, and as he has failed to offer any authority
in support of his contention, we decline to consider it on appeal. 
See People v. Thornton, 286 Ill. App. 3d 624, 636 (1997).

     For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the circuit court
of Du Page County is affirmed.

     McLAREN and THOMAS, JJ., concur.