US v. Jeffrey Mihelich
UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. JEFFREY MIHELICH, Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, at Clarksburg. Irene M. Keeley, District Judge. (1:08-cr-00069-IMK-JSK-1)
September 30, 2009
October 22, 2009
Before SHEDD and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Brian J. Kornbrath, Federal Public Defender, Clarksburg, West Virginia, for Appellant. Sharon L. Potter, United States Attorney, Shawn Angus Morgan, Assistant United States Attorney, Clarksburg, West Virginia, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
PER CURIAM: Jeffrey Mihelich pleaded guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to one count of possession with intent to distribute less than fifty kilograms of marijuana and less than 500 grams of cocaine within 1000 feet of a school, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), (b)(1)(D), 860 (2006). entered a conditional guilty plea and reserved his Mihelich right to
appeal the district court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence. On appeal, he argues that the district court erred in
denying his motion to suppress because the affidavit in support of the search warrant lacked sufficient information to establish probable cause, and that the good-faith exception established by the Supreme Court in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984), did not apply to uphold the search of his apartment. We underlying a review motion the to district suppress court's for clear We affirm. findings and the
district court's legal determinations de novo. Grossman, 400 F.3d 212, 216 (4th Cir. 2005).
United States v. When a suppression
motion has been denied, we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government. Id. This court gives due regard
to the district court's opportunity to judge the credibility of witnesses and does not review credibility determinations. United States v. Lowe, 65 F.3d 1137, 1142 (4th Cir. 1995). See
In reviewing the validity of a search warrant, the relevant inquiry is whether, under the totality of the
circumstances, the issuing judge had a substantial basis for concluding that there was probable cause to issue the warrant. Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 238 (1983); see United
States v. Chandia, 514 F.3d 365, 373-74 (4th Cir. 2008) (noting that magistrate's probable cause determination is entitled to "great deference"). "When reviewing the probable cause
supporting a warrant, a reviewing court must consider only the information presented to the magistrate who issued the warrant." United States v. Wilhelm, 80 F.3d 116, 118 (4th Cir. 1996). The required judge to reviewing make a the warrant application is
whether, given all the circumstances set forth in the affidavit before him, . . . there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence Gates, of a crime at will 238. be found in a particular element place."
probable cause is "whether it is reasonable to believe that the items to be seized will be found in the place to be searched." United States v. Lalor, 996 F.2d 1578, 1582 (4th Cir. 1993). Information searched. must link criminal activity to the place to be
Id. at 1583.
Our review of the record leads us to
conclude that the district court correctly concluded that the affidavit was sufficient to support a finding of probable cause 3
for the search of Mihelich's apartment.
Additionally, we find
that, even assuming the affidavit was deficient, the district court correctly concluded that the good-faith exception would apply to the search of Mihelich's apartment. The district court
therefore properly denied Mihelich's suppression motion. Accordingly dispense with oral we affirm Mihelich's the conviction. facts and We legal
contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
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