US v. Corey Redd
UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. COREY LAYNE REDD, Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Harrisonburg. Samuel G. Wilson, District Judge. (5:07-cr-00035-sgw-1)
June 1, 2009
August 19, 2009
Before TRAXLER, Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Steven P. Hanna, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellant. Julia C. Dudley, United States Attorney, Jeb T. Terrien, Assistant United States Attorney, Harrisonburg, Virginia, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
PER CURIAM: Corey possession cocaine with Layne intent in Redd to was indicted fifty on one or count more of of
distribute of 21
denial of his motion to suppress evidence seized during a search of his home and vehicle, Redd entered a conditional guilty plea, preserving the right to appeal the district court's denial of his motion. imprisonment. denial of his The district court sentenced Redd to 120 months' On appeal, Redd challenges the district court's motion to suppress on two grounds: (1) the
statements obtained from the Source of Information ("SOI") are stale; and (2) the statements obtained from the Confidential Informant ("CI") do not support probable cause. Finding no
reversible error, we affirm. In reviewing a district court's ruling on a motion to suppress, findings, reviews this court defers aside to the district if clearly court's factual and v.
setting its legal
Uzenski, 434 F.3d 690, 704 (4th Cir. 2006).
When the district
court has denied a motion to suppress, "the evidence must be construed in the light most favorable to the Government." Id.
I. "A valid search warrant may issue only upon
allegations of `facts so closely related to the time of the issue of the warrant as to justify a finding of probable cause at that time. by Whether the the proof meets of each this test must be
determined States v.
circumstances 740 F.2d 1331,
case.'" (4th Cir.
(quoting Sgro v. United States, 287 U.S. 206, 210-11) (1932)). However, "the vitality of probable cause cannot be quantified by simply counting the number of days between the occurrence of the facts supplied and the issuance of the affidavit." (internal quotation marks, alteration, and Id. at 1336 omitted).
To determine whether the information used to support the warrant is stale, this court must take into account "the nature of the unlawful activity alleged, the length of the activity, and the nature of the property to be seized." Id. If the criminal
activity alleged is not ongoing in nature or the evidence is not likely to remain at the place it was observed, "indicia external to the evidence itself should demonstrate that probable cause has not lapsed." Id. at 1337.
Redd argues that the information obtained from the SOI is stale because there is no indication that his "alleged
narcotics operations were elaborate and ongoing" or that there was any "ongoing continuous criminal activity" from September, 3
2006 to March, 2007. admitted to
Redd's argument is without merit. crack cocaine from Redd at
The SOI Redd's
residence between June of 2006 and the SOI's arrest in September of 2006. Importantly, the SOI admitted to purchasing sixty-two Although
grams of crack cocaine from Redd on a weekly basis.
there is no evidence showing Redd's activity continued between September of 2006 and March of 2007, the CI provided information that Redd was selling crack cocaine at his residence a mere twoand-a-half days before the warrant's execution. The fact that
the SOI purchased crack cocaine on a weekly basis and the CI obtained information about Redd's activities less than seventytwo hours before the search warrant was executed lends credence to a determination that Redd's activity was ongoing. even if Redd's narcotics distribution was not However, as he
alleges, the CI's information provides "indicia external" to the SOI's evidence demonstrating that probable cause had not lapsed. Accordingly, we find that the SOI's statements are not stale. II. Redd also argues that the CI's statements do not
support probable cause.
A court must consider the totality of
the circumstances in determining whether probable cause exists to support the issuance of a search warrant. 462 U.S. 213, 238 (1983). Illinois v. Gates,
The magistrate's task is to determine
whether, given the totality of the circumstances, "there is a 4
fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place." Id. at 238. "A magistrate's
`determination of probable cause should be paid great deference by reviewing courts.'" Id. at 236 (quoting Spinelli v. United Thus, this court's duty "is
States, 393 U.S. 410, 419 (1969)).
simply to ensure that the magistrate had a `substantial basis for . . . conclud[ing]' that probable cause existed." Gates,
462 U.S. at 238-39 (quoting Jones v. United States, 362 U.S. 257, 271 (1960)) (alterations in original). On Agent Joseph Friday, March and 9, 2007, the him CI met with she Special took an
individual to Redd's residence at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, 2007, where that individual purchased crack cocaine. Fleming
went to a magistrate and obtained a search warrant in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 10, 2007, just hours after
meeting with the CI and less than forty-eight hours after the CI saw the crack cocaine purchased from Redd's residence. We find
that the magistrate could fairly conclude contraband or evidence of a crime would be found at Redd's residence less than two days after the CI's observation. "An important factor in determining whether an
informant's report establishes probable cause is the degree to which it is corroborated." 1578, 1581 (4th Cir. United States v. Lalor, 996 F.2d The informant's veracity,
reliability, and basis of knowledge are also relevant, although they are not independent requirements. veracity, reliability, and basis of Id. Here, the CI's are well-
Fleming testified that the CI had worked with him
and other members of the Virginia State Police on controlled drug purchases for the prior four or five months. He confirmed The
the CI's reliability and credibility over that time period.
CI was also identified as a past cocaine user, who was "familiar with the odor, texture, appearance, packaging, and effects of Cocaine." Redd argues that the CI should not be relied upon
because she did not purchase the crack cocaine or witness the alleged transaction and there is no information about the
identity and reliability of the "unwitting informant."
Fleming made it clear that the CI made statements against her penal interests in this case, and thus had no motivation to lie. Moreover, the CI's report was corroborated by the SOI, who
described Redd's residence and its location and detailed his weekly purchases of crack cocaine from Redd at that residence. Based on the foregoing, we find that the magistrate had a
substantial basis for concluding probable cause existed. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government, we find that the district court did not err in denying Redd's motion to suppress and we affirm the judgment of the district court. We dispense with oral argument because the 6
contentions the court
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