A federal appeals court has ruled it was OK for a Montana Highway Patrol trooper to lie about the reason for a traffic stop made during a 2012 drug sting.

A three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Thursday in the case of a Hector Magallon-Lopez, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence. He sought to suppress as evidence the two pounds of methamphetamine found in his car.

The circuit judges said a stop is legal as long as the facts exist to justify the stop. In this case, officers had been listening to a wiretap and were expecting a car carrying meth to come through southwestern Montana when they stopped Magallon-Lopez's car.

One judge noted there are states that require police to give an honest reason for an arrest.