Search & Seizure Assignment

Case Scenario

Police Officer Gilbert Caesar sought a warrant to search the persons of Raul Franco and his live-in girlfriend Mildred, the house where Raul and Mildred resided, and a black pickup truck owned by Raul.

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Police Officer Caesar’s Affidavit in Support of Application for Search Warrant:

“In the latter part of 2015, I arrested a subject and took him to jail. While enroute to the jail I asked the subject who he knew that was dealing drugs. The subject told me of a person named Raul who lived on the corner of Henry Avenue and Spring Street. I asked the subject how he knew Raul was selling drugs. The subject told me his wife bought her heroin from Raul. As I was driving towards the jail, I drove up Henry Avenue and asked the subject to point the house out to me as we drove past. As we drove past, the subject pointed to the residence on the northeast corner of Henry Avenue and Spring Street. The subject also said Raul drove the black pickup truck that was parked in front of the residence.

“After dropping the subject off at the jail, I drove back to the residence on the corner of Henry Avenue and Spring Street. The black truck was still parked in front of the residence. I ran a registration check on the vehicle. The return information from dispatch showed the vehicle was registered to Raul Franco with an address of 51-03 Spring Street.

“On 01-07-16 Officer Justin Bassey and I were talking to a person who herein will be referred to as confidential reliable informant one. (CRI-1). I was talking to CRI-1 about people who sold drugs in this city, specifically heroin or meth. CRI-1 told us a woman named Mildred and her boyfriend Raul were selling heroin. I asked CRI-1 where Mildred and Raul lived. CRI-1 said they lived on the corner of Henry Avenue and Spring Street. I asked CRI-1 if Raul or Mildred drove any cars. CRI-1 said [he/she] only knew of a black colored full size truck Raul drove. I asked CRI-1 if [he/she] knew the last names of Mildred and Raul. CRI-1 said he/she knew Mildred’s last name was Charles. [He/she] said he/she didn’t know Raul’s last name. I asked CRI-1 where Charles keeps her drugs she sells. [He/she] said she keeps it in the front of her pants, so that if she gets stopped by a male police officer, he won’t search the front of her pants. CRI-1 said she also keeps it in a backpack she keeps with her.

“I asked CRI-1 if Raul was also selling. CRI-1 said Raul does sell meth and heroin, but not as much as Mildred.

“On 01-21-16 I talked with a person who herein will be referred to as CRI-2. CRI-2 has given information to law enforcement in the past. The information was corroborated and criminal cases were made behind the information.

“I asked CRI-2 who [he/she] knew that was selling drugs. CRI-2 told me of a woman named Mildred Charles who lived on the corner of Henry Avenue and Spring Street. CRI-2 said Charles deals heroin and meth out of her house with her boyfriend. I asked CRI-2 if [he/she] knew the name of Charles’s boyfriend and if he was selling meth and heroin also. CRI-2 said he/she only knew the boyfriend’s first name as Rio and Rio was also selling meth and heroin out of the house.

“I asked CRI-2 if [he/she] knew of any vehicles Charles and Rio might drive. CRI-2 said Rio drives a black truck and Charles drives a big red sedan.

“I believe based on the previous information I have regarding Raul Franco, that Rio is actually Raul. This is based on the registered owner information on the black truck and other people telling me there is a Raul living at the residence.

“I ran a criminal history check on Charles through dispatch. The return information showed she has multiple arrests and convictions for possession of controlled substance for sale, and transportation of controlled substance.

“I have talked with CRI-2 on and off for the last two weeks, CRI-2 told me both Raul and Mildred are still dealing out of their house on Henry Avenue and Spring Street. I asked CRI-2 how [he/she] knew this. He/she said [he/she] has been to their house recently and has seen people who came to the house. CRI-2 saw Raul and Mildred take them in another room. The people left a short time later. CRI-2 believed the people who came to [the] house were buying drugs from Raul and Mildred.”

A magistrate signed the search warrant and the police served it on February 3, 2016. In the house the police discovered methamphetamine, marijuana, firearms, and paraphernalia associated with drug use and sales. The police detained defendant Raul at a different location as he was getting into his vehicle, and discovered on his person and in a backpack methamphetamine, marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, prescription pills, and two syringes.

The District Attorney filed a complaint charging defendant Raul with various narcotics offenses. Raul’s attorney moved to suppress all the evidence seized pursuant to the search warrant.

ASSIGNMENT:

1. Write a complete analysis of all of the issues that Raul’s attorney should include in the motion to suppress. Apply relevant U.S. Supreme Court and Constitutional Law in your analysis.

2. What are the alternate arguments in support of the affidavit’s sufficiency that should be made by the prosecution?

3. If the prosecution fails in its argument in favor of the sufficiency of the search warrant affidavit, explain in detail whether the “good faith” exception to the exclusionary rule is applicable or inapplicable.

The Legal Framework:

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573,100 S.Ct. 1371, 63 L.Ed.2d 639 (1980)

Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 103 S.Ct. 2317, 76 L.Ed.2d 527 (1983)

United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897,104 S.Ct. 3405, 82 L.Ed.2d 677 (1984)

Aguilar v. Texas, 78 U.S. 108, 84 S.Ct. 1509, 12 L.Ed.2d 723 (1964)

Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410, 89 S.Ct. 584, 21 L.Ed.2d 637 (1969)

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