CA9: Vague uncorroborated anonymous tip could not support warrant, which was also overbroad, and the good faith exception cannot apply

Officers received a vague anonymous tip relayed through an apartment manager about a tenant having ten pounds of marijuana. They were able to somehow link it to defendant, and they did a knock-and-talk. Defendant admitted to being a medical marijuana user, had an MMJ card, and admitted to a personal amount. The officers went to get a search warrant, and the information they had clearly was not enough for a search warrant. Then, the search warrant was way overbroad in what it was looking for, including photographs and digital media when all they had was a vague and completely uncorroborated tip about possession of ten pounds. The motion to suppress was properly granted, and the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule cannot apply to a search warrant as lame as this one. [This case was so obvious that this opinion is unpublished.] United States v. Embry, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16415 (9th Cir. September 15, 2015):

Because of their reliance on the uncorroborated, anonymous tip, police officers crafted a warrant for drug trafficking and carried out a search aimed at uncovering evidence of drug trafficking. First, suppression would punish the police officers’ misconduct. Second, all of the errors in this case arise from the conduct of the police officers because the source of the error was the officers’ reliance on the uncorroborated, anonymous tip. Third, a decision affirming the district court will have the significant deterrent effect on police misconduct that the exclusionary rule is meant to provide.

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