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United States v. Tate

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

July 11, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DIABLO D. TATE, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Christopher A. Boyko United States District Judge.

         This matter comes before the Court upon the Motion (Doc. 11) of Defendant Diablo Tate to Suppress evidence seized from his residence because the search violated the Fourth Amendment. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Defendant's Motion.

         I. BACKGROUND FACTS

         On August 29, 2018, neighbors notified the Euclid Police Department about “suspicious drug activity” occurring at 19051 Genesee Avenue, Euclid, Ohio (the “Property”). The neighbors specifically complained of the constant traffic of persons going into the house and exiting a short time later. Finally, the neighbors identified the owner of the Property as Defendant.

         Police then began to corroborate the information. On September 24, 2018, detectives conducted a trash pull from the Property. From the trash pull, investigators uncovered drug packaging material, seven vacuum-sealed bags with marijuana residue, marijuana stems, five marijuana roaches and various paperwork and packaging material bearing Defendant's name.

         During the last week of September 2018, police conducted surveillance of the Property. They observed vehicle traffic during the early morning hours at the address. The occupants of the vehicles would enter the Property and return to their cars soon after. Based on the training and experience of the detectives, this activity was consistent with drug trafficking.

         On October 1, 2018, investigators conducted a second trash pull. The second trash pull produced miscellaneous mail to Defendant, three vacuumed-sealed bags with marijuana residue, three marijuana roaches and a plastic bag containing edible marijuana cookies.

         In addition to surveilling the Property and the two trash pulls, police reviewed public records. They determined the Property is owned by Ms. Tate-Burton. Authorities also determined Defendant had a lengthy criminal record involving drug and weapon convictions. Furthermore, Defendant had an outstanding warrant with the Cleveland Heights Police Department.

         Based on the above, Detective Alcantara submitted his Affidavit for Search Warrant (the “Affidavit”) and applied for a search warrant for the Property. A Cuyahoga County Judge granted the Search Warrant on October 3, 2018.

         On June 28, 2019, Defendant filed his Motion to Suppress the evidence authorities obtained after executing the Search Warrant. Defendant argues that the facts alleged in the Affidavit did not establish probable cause to search the Property and that the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule is inapplicable. The Government disagrees with Defendant on both points.

         II. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of Review

         The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution 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 Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing ...

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