COURT DENIES SUPPRESSION OF GUN AND SHELLS

Police Officers Derek Sullivan and Emmett Macken observed a small group of men outside a rooming house in Manchester, New Hampshire known for drug activity. It appeared as if a drug deal was in progress. The officers followed two of the men, Joshua Lacy and Bryan Bleau to a parking lot behind the residence. Bleau and Lacy were joined by a third man. A black Honda arrived and Bleau got in the passenger side. The car drove away. After a […] Read more »

NINTH CIRCUIT REVERSES CONVICTION DUE TO ADMISSION OF STATEMENTS TAKEN IN VIOLATION OF THE FOURTH AMENDMENT

On the evening of September 22, 2009 Jamie Shetler called the Pomona, California police department to report that her father, Scott, was using and manufacturing methamphetamine in his house. The police immediately went to the house. The garage attached to the residence was open and according to the officers a chemical odor emanated from the garage. The rear portion of the garage was partitioned off. In order to determine if anyone was behind the partition or whether methamphetamine was in […] Read more »

FOURTH CIRCUIT CALLS OFFICER’S JUSTIFICATION FOR SEARCH ABSURD

Stephen Digiovanni rented a car in Fort Lauderdale, took the autotrain to Washington D. C and drove towards his home in Boston. Driving on I-95 in Maryland, he was stopped by Trooper Chrisotpher Connor for following the car in front of him too closely. Connor noticed that Digiovanni was somewhat nervous. Furthermore, the car was clean, shirts were hanging in the back without a clothing bag and there was a hygiene bag in the back seat. All of these things […] Read more »

EIGHTH CIRCUIT FINDS CONSENT TO BE VOLUNTARY

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and 180 month sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in United States v, Kelley Kelley was convicted after a bench trial in the District Court for the Western District of Missouri of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Two burglars were interviewed by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department. They admitted being involved in a string of burglaries and said that stolen guns could be found […] Read more »

CONVICTION REVERSED FOR WARRANTLESS SEARCH

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the conviction in a case where the District court wrongly denied the defendant motion to dismiss on illegal search and seizure grounds. Two United States marshals went to the Missouri residence of Gary McMullin, looking for Daryl Crowder who was wanted on an Illinois warrant. While Marshall Newlin knocked at the front door, Marshall Davis covered the back door. McMullin consented to Newlin coming in and he told the marshal that he was […] Read more »

MINOR ACTIONS LEAD TO MAJOR ARRESTS

Often small errors end up in people being arrested and convicted of major crimes. I have seen this many times over the years. But the point was brought home by two cases listed on FourthAmendment.com. First a little bit about the Fourth Amendment. It states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by […] Read more »

JUST SAY NO!

A recent Missouri case reported in Fourth Amendment.com State v. Allen illustrates the need not to let police into your house or your car or anywhere else that you have an expectation of privacy. The police conducted a “knock and talk” at the residence of Amy Jo Dean Rig. A “knock and talk” occurs when the police believe that criminal activity, in this case drug use and sales, is occurring in a residence. They do not have probable cause to […] Read more »