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                 COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA



Present:  Judges Benton, Elder and Overton
Argued at Richmond, Virginia


COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
                    MEMORANDUM OPINION BY
v.        Record No. 0271-97-1               JUDGE NELSON T. OVERTON
                                            JUNE 24, 1997
CHAD EVERETT SPENCER


         FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF HAMPTON
                  Wilford Taylor, Jr., Judge

         Marla Graff Decker, Assistant Attorney
         General (James S. Gilmore, III, Attorney
         General, on brief), for appellant.

         J. Ashton Wray, Jr., for appellee.


    The Commonwealth appeals from a pretrial order in the
Circuit Court of the City of Hampton in which the trial judge
granted a motion to suppress the evidence.  For the reasons
stated, we affirm the trial courts ruling.
    The parties are fully conversant with the record in the
cause, and because this memorandum opinion carries no
precedential value, no recitation of the facts is necessary.
    In an appeal by the Commonwealth, "we view the evidence in
the light most favorable to [the defendant], the prevailing party
below, and we grant all reasonable inferences fairly deducible
from that evidence."  Commonwealth v. Grimstead, 12 Va. App.
1066, 1067, 407 S.E.2d 47, 48 (1991).  According to the
defendants version of the encounter, the police officer asked
for the drivers identification and registration and returned to
his cruiser.  Only after he had come back to the car after
checking the drivers identification did he ask to see the
appellants identification.
    In certain cases, an officer during a traffic stop may make
additional intrusions upon passengers personal liberties
"pending completion of the stop."  Maryland v. Wilson, 117 S. Ct.
882, 886 (1997).  In this case, however, the traffic stop was
completed.  The officer had investigated the traffic violation,
checked the drivers identification and registration, and
returned the drivers documents.  Until that point, "[a]s a
practical matter, the passengers are already stopped by virtue of
the stop of the vehicle."  Id.  After that point, the stop is
completed and an independent reason is needed to continue
detaining the passengers.  The trial judge specifically found no
valid reason and upon reviewing the record, we agree.
    Accordingly, the ruling below is affirmed.
                                                                                                                  Affirmed.                                                                                  

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