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7th Circuit: Recording of drug deal doesn’t taint conviction

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A taped conversation between a suspected heroin dealer and a confidential informant in which a sentence was admitted into evidence was not fruit of the poison tree dooming a conviction that was supported by plenty of other evidence, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Allen County detectives arranged a criminal informant to make multiple purchases of heroin from Gerald Reynolds. At some point, Reynolds drove the CI’s car to the home of his supplier, John Scott. Unbeknownst to either man, the car had recording equipment that captured a driveway conversation involving drug purchases.

Scott ultimately pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute under the Controlled Substances Act, Title 21, U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, denied his motion to suppress a search warrant of Scott’s home that followed the captured conversation, but Scott’s plea preserved the right to appeal that issue.

The 7th Circuit rejected Scott’s claims in United States of America v. John Scott 12-2962, that the recorded conversation was the primary reason authorities sought a warrant.

“The detective’s affidavit contained many facts other than the recording of Scott’s driveway conversation, and these other facts were sufficient to create probable cause to support a search warrant of Scott’s house,” wrote U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee of the Northern District of Illinois, sitting by designation.   

 “Thus, we need not reach the issue of whether Scott had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his driveway conversation with Reynolds and affirm the district court’s denial of Scott’s motion to suppress,” Lee wrote for the panel.

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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