Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Search Warrant Based on Informant's Tip OK'd

U.S. v. Long, 2014 WL 7240718 (12/22/14) (Okla.)(published) - Search warrant affidavit provided probable cause based on confidential informant's report of recent observation of cocaine packaged for distribution at the apartment to be searched. It's fine that the defendant was described only as a "Black male" because the contraband was observed at the place to be searched; it was unnecessary for the affidavit to link the defendant to that place. It was also unnecessary for the government to identify the informant or to show independent police investigation about the alleged wrongdoing given the adequacy of the information provided showing the informant's prior accuracy and credibility. The district court properly denied a Franks hearing because Mr. Long failed to make an adequate evidentiary showing that the officer recklessly or intentionally supplied false info in the affidavit. And anyhow, the magistrate judge interviewed the informant ex parte and determined that testimony from the informant would not help the defense. The informant was only a tipster, not a participant in or witness to the charged crime. Admission of a compact disc found near the cocaine that was entitled "Cokeland" with defendant's picture on the cover was sufficiently probative to warrant its admission into evidence despite possibility of unfair prejudice.