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State v. Huff

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-15-2012
Case #: A145156
Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A145156.pdf

Criminal Procedure: Officer's search warrant affidavit based on a small amount of drugs for personal use, combined with evidence that defendant and his roommate are both on post-prison supervision for drug possession, is not enough, by itself, to establish probable cause. The affidavit must provide enough facts to permit a magistrate reasonably to conclude that it is more likely than not that additional evidence of criminal drug activity will be found.

After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of Unlawful Delivery and Possession of Methamphetamine. With consent, police found a small amount of meth in Defendant’s trailer and used that information, along with the fact that Defendant and his roommate were both on post-prison supervision for possession of meth, to apply for a telephonic search warrant to search their trailer and outbuildings. Acting on the warrant, police found a large amount of meth and drug paraphernalia. Defendant moved to suppress this evidence, arguing that the affidavit failed to establish probable cause. The trial court denied the motion. Defendant appealed, and the Court reversed, agreeing that, “although the facts suggest a possibility that criminal evidence might be found,” that is insufficient to establish probable cause. The Court reasoned that “the current possession of a small amount of illegal drugs . . . does not give rise to probable cause to search for additional drugs.” That evidence, coupled with Defendant’s criminal history did not permit a reasonable inference that further evidence of criminal activity will be found. Reversed.