In spite of the fact that the affidavit was misleading, the appellate court held that the evidence seized during the search was admissible under the good faith reliance exception.
Defendant was convicted for production of marijuana, possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a handgun, and possession of drug paraphernalia. On appeal, he argued the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress the evidence because the affidavit supporting the search was deficient. Defendant argued the confidential source used to support the affidavit was unreliable and the affidavit itself contained misleading statements.
The court of appeals relied on U.S v. Leon, which held that the exclusionary rule does not bar evidence obtained by officers acting in good faith reliance on a defective warrant. The court also held that suppression is an appropriate remedy if the magistrate or judge issuing the warrant was misled by information that the affiant knew was false.
Here, defendant claimed the affidavit was misleading because it led the judge to believe the affiant witnessed people pull up to a house and buy drugs, when really they just pulled up and had a conversation. Also, defendant claimed it was misleading when it stated, “the suspects living at this address never place their garbage out for normal pickup.” Defendant argues this was misleading because it led the judge to think they never had placed their garbage out to conceal their evidence of drugs, but what it really meant was they had never placed their garbage out during the investigation.