CA1: SW for guns on 4 mo old information wasn’t stale

Defendant was a reputed Boston mobster on the lam in Idaho with a different name. Police were tipped off to his location, interviewed neighbors learning about guns, and then allegedly went to his house and peeked in the window. Even assuming they did that, which would have been a violation of the Fourth Amendment, as both the district court did and this court does, there was probable cause for issuance of the search warrant. The information was obtained from interviews with neighbors about his having guns four months earlier, guns have enduring value and use and are kept in the home, and it was likely they were still there.There also was a separate search claim rejected as untimely. United States v. Ponzo, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6058 (1st Cir. April 7, 2017):

Like the district court, we assume (without granting) that agents offended Ponzo’s constitutional rights when they went up to his house and peeked through his window. Turning to the first question, we, also like the district court, conclude that these agents would have sought a warrant even if they had not seen the air rifle and security camera. We say this because law enforcement had known about Ponzo’s fugitive-from-justice status, had concluded he was living under an assumed name at the 6107 Hogg Road address, and had heard about his having guns. On the second question, we, again like the district court, conclude that the affidavit, shorn of any tainted info, contained ample facts to support probable cause to search Ponzo’s abode. Arguing against this conclusion, Ponzo claims the neighbor’s comment that he “had gone to a shooting range … four months earlier [a] was fruit of the poisonous tree, [b] too stale to provide probable cause, and [c] did not support a finding that he would have firearms at his residence.” We reject claim [a] because agents got the info from an independent interview with the neighbor. We reject claim [b] because “firearms, unlike drugs, are durable goods useful to their owners for long periods of time.” United States v. Singer, 943 F.2d 758, 763 (7th Cir. 1991) (holding that six-month-old info about a firearm was not “stale”); see also United States v. Neal, 528 F.3d 1069, 1074 (8th Cir. 2008) (explaining that info “that someone is suspected of possessing firearms illegally is not stale, even several months later, because individuals who possess firearms tend to keep them for long periods of time”); cf. generally United States v. Pierre, 484 F.3d 75, 83 (1st Cir. 2007) (stressing that “[w]hen evaluating a claim of staleness, courts do not measure the timeliness of information simply by counting the number of days that have elapsed,” adding that a court must instead “assess the nature of the information, the nature and characteristics of the suspected criminal activity, and the likely endurance of the information”). And we reject claim [c] because the agent’s affidavit said “firearms/ammunition” are “the kinds of evidence … typically maintained at a person’s” home — that matters because the required nexus “between the objects to be seized and the premises searched” may be “inferred from the type of crime, the nature of the items sought, the extent of an opportunity for concealment and normal inferences as to where a criminal would hide” evidence of the suspected crimes. See United States v. Feliz, 182 F.3d 82, 88 (1st Cir. 1999) (quotation marks omitted).

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