United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. NUGENT, United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant, Ryan K. Sumlin's
Motion to Suppress Evidence. (ECF #84). The Government filed
an Opposition to Defendant's Motion. (ECF #85). No Reply
was filed. Defendant waived a formal hearing on his Motion,
with both parties agreeing that the Court should rule based
solely upon the written briefing. (ECF #86).
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides
that “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 oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing, the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be seized. U.S. Const.
Amend IV. There is no Fourth Amendment violation when a
search is conducted pursuant to a search warrant, issued upon
a finding of probable cause which is supported by an
supporting affidavit must show a fair probability, or
likelihood that contraband or evidence of a crime will be
located on the premises of the proposed search. Illinois
v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983); United States v. Jenkins,
396 F.3d 751, 760 (6th Cir. 2005); United
States v. Church, 823 F.3d 351, 355 (6th Cir.
2016). The affidavit must point to some “nexus between
the place to be searched and the evidence sought.”
United States v. Carpenter, 360 F.3d 591, 594
(6th Cir. 2004)(en banc). Reliance on
hearsay is entirely proper. United States v. Gunter,
551 F.3d 472, 479 (6th Cir. 2009).
review of the sufficiency of the evidence presented in
support of a search warrant is limited to the information
contained in the four corners of the supporting affidavit.
United States v. Berry, 565 F.3d 332, 338
(6th Cir. 2009). The affidavit must be judged
based on a totality of the circumstances, using commonsense,
and taking into consideration that the they are
“normally drafted by nonlawyers in the midst and haste
of an on-going criminal investigation. United States v.
Woosley, 361 F.3d 924, 926 (6th Cir. 2004);
United States v. Pelham, 801 F.2d 875, 877
(6th Cir. 1986); United States v. Brooks,
594 F.3d 488, 490 (6th Cir. 2010).
judicial determination of probable cause, once made,
“is entitled to ‘great deference' and must
not reversed in the absence of clear error.” United
States v. Calloway, 116 F.3d 1129, 1132 (6th
Cir. 1997)(citation omitted); see also, e.g,
United States v. McLevain, 310 F.3d 434, 439
(6th Cir. 2002). “[T]he task of the
reviewing court is not to conduct a de novo determination of
probable cause, but only to determine whether there is
substantial evidence in the record supporting the [judicial
officer's] decision to issue the warrant.”
Massachusetts v. Upton, 466 U.S. 727, 728 (1984);
see also, e.g., United States v.
Rodriguez-Suazo, 346 F.3d 637, 643 (6thCir.
even if a search warrant is not supported by probable cause,
a reviewing court cannot suppress the evidence uncovered
during the search unless it finds that the affidavit was so
deficient that the officers executing the warrant were not
acting in good faith. See, United States v. Leon,
468 U.S. 897 (1984). Except in extraordinary circumstances,
the existence of a search warrant issued by a magistrate
suffices to show that the executing officer acted in good
faith in conducting the search. United States v.
Ross, 456 U.S. 798, 823, n. 32 (1982); Leon,
468 U.S. at 922. “[W]here officers rely in an
objectively reasonable fashion on a search warrant issued by
a neutral magistrate that is subsequently found to be
invalid, the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule does not
require suppression of the fruits of the search.”
United States v. Bowling, 900 F.2d 926, 931
(6th Cir. 1990). The United States Supreme Court
has recognized four grounds for finding extraordinary
circumstances that could override the good faith presumption.
In this case, Mr. Sumlin claims that one of these grounds
applies, that being that the affidavit is “so lacking
in indicia of probable cause as to render official belief in
its existence entirely unreasonable.” Leon,
468 U.S. at 922-923.
contends that the search warrant permitting the search of 926
Firestone Boulevard was not supported by probable cause
because the affidavit submitted in support of the warrant did
not demonstrate a fair probability that evidence of a crime
would be located there. (ECF #84). He claims that because the
affidavit contained no allegation of illicit activity
occurring at the searched residence, there was no nexus
between the property and the sought after evidence. Defendant
cites United States v. Pinson, 321 F.3d 558
(6th Cir. 2003), and United States v.
Brown, 823 F.3d 375 (6th Cir. 2014), for the
proposition that without more, a drug dealers place of
residence is not searchable based solely on a general
expectation that drug dealers tend to keep drugs, money, guns
and/or records of transactions at their homes. In those
cases, the court found no nexus between the suspect's
residence and the alleged criminal activity. Id.
Even under the good faith standard for an officer's
execution of a search warrant, which is significantly less
demanding that the standard for finding probable cause, the
Brown court found that the affidavit must still draw
on some “plausible connection” between the
criminal activity and the residence to be searched. A
connection between the alleged criminal and the residence is
not, in and of itself, sufficient to support either standard.
See, Brown, 823 F.3d at 385-86.
case the affidavit attests to the following facts:
(1) A 2007 Chrysler 300, registered to the Defendant's
mother was parked in the driveway of 926 Firestone Boulevard
(“the subject property) on multiple days.
(2) The utilities for the subject property are in the name of
the Defendant's girlfriend.
(3) There are notes from prior recent police reports,
indicating that the Defendant resides at the ...