Wednesday, February 27, 2013

9-Day-Old Warrant to Search Home for Drugs Was Not Stale

U.S. v. Garcia, 2013 WL 518545 (2/13/13) (N.M.) (Published) - A warrant to search a home for drugs was executed before it became stale, although the CI's information was 12 days old and the warrant 9 days old. People who use or sell drugs usually keep a ready drug stash and other evidence in their house and the warrant affidavit indicated the drug activity was ongoing. The N.M. state warrant's requirement that the officers search "forthwith" is just "a belated echo of a medieval royal command" and so meaningless [except to the Society of Creative Anachronisms]. The search was within the 10-day limit of Rule 41. And, even if there were a violation of the warrant, the defendant couldn't show prejudice or that the violation was intentional so as to warrant relief. And it was okay that the warrant had the wrong address and officers knew that before searching. There was no doubt what residence the judge and the officers intended to be searched, given the photo and description of the house and the knowledge of the officers involved.