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7th Circuit affirms search warrant basis

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that enough probable cause existed to justify a search warrant that led to a man’s jury convictions on drug charges.

In U.S.A v. Marlon K. Spears, No. 10-3338, the federal appellate court affirmed a decision from Chief Judge Philip Simon in the Northern District of Indiana.

The case involves Marlon Spears, who was the subject of a police search in August 2008 where drugs and a firearm were found in his home. A magistrate judge issued a search warrant for Spears’ home. After that search, the man was arrested and charged with possessing 100 or more marijuana plants with intent to distribute, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and maintaining a place for the manufacture and distribution of marijuana. Spears filed motions to suppress the evidence from the search, challenging statements in the probable cause affidavit that had accompanied the warrant application. The District court held a hearing pursuant to Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978), and after determining that the warrant didn’t contain any false statements the court denied the motion.

A jury convicted Spears on all three counts, and he challenged the lower court’s finding that no Franks violation had occurred.
On appeal, the 7th Circuit determined that enough evidence existed in the probable cause affidavit for the warrant to be executed. The appellate panel declined to analyze the issue about how one of the officers relied on information from an informant but didn’t include that in the affidavit. Spears argued that no magistrate judge could infer from the affidavit that the information came from a fellow officer or that the source of the information was reliable.

“Alas, this is not a question we must resolve, because even if we agreed with Spears’s position that the omission was material, misleading, and done so with intent or reckless disregard, and that the District court committed clear error, we would find that the arrant contained sufficient probable cause,” Judge Ann Williams wrote.

 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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