W.D.Okla.: Rare successful Franks challenge on reckless statements of fact

Defendant made a successful Franks challenge in his drug case. The officer affiant was reckless in overstating facts that were critical to the finding of probable cause and the warrant was suppressed because a Franks violation means no good faith exception. The false statements were “convictions” rather an a 2002 assault conviction and a male removing trashbags with marijuana residue in them that (1) flakes in two small baggies never field tested for marijuana and (2) the male was an 8 year old child. The PC was thin, so it was material, and the state judge would likely not have issued the warrant if all the facts were out. United States v. Gaines, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167257 (W.D.Okla. Dec. 15, 2015):

In summary, the Court finds the challenged statements in the Affidavit were recklessly made by Det. Medley with utter disregard for the truth of the matters asserted. The Court further finds that, without the false statements and with complete statements of material facts, the judge who issued the search warrant would have lacked a sufficient factual basis for a finding of probable cause to issue a warrant to search apartment 461 for illegal drugs or evidence of Mr. Gaines’ alleged drug dealing.

To satisfy Gates, Mr. Gaines must show the Affidavit contains insufficient facts to establish a “fair probability” that evidence of a crime would be found in apartment 461. In light of Det. Medley’s hearing testimony and the above findings, the Court has corrected the material portion of the Affidavit in the manner directed by Franks, as shown by the attached Exhibit A to this Order.2 Upon consideration of the corrected Affidavit, the Court is persuaded that the state court judge who issued the search warrant would have reached a different probable-cause determination if she had been fully informed of the true facts revealed by Det. Medley’s hearing testimony. Therefore, the Court finds that Mr. Gaines has carried his burden to prove the invalidity of the search warrant.

This entry was posted in Franks doctrine, Good faith exception. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.