D.Minn.: Complete failure of showing nexus fails PC and GFE

The affidavit for the search warrant completely failed to show nexus to defendant’s house and drugs. Complete lack of nexus does not support the good faith exception either. United States v. Rios-Uscanga, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68991 (D.Minn. March 13, 2017), adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68009 (D. Minn. Apr. 26, 2017):

The Eighth Circuit’s Herron decision does not stand alone. Other circuit courts have found police reliance on warrants entirely unreasonable where supporting affidavits failed to demonstrate a nexus between suspected criminal activity and the place to be searched. See, e.g., United States v. Brown, 828 F.3d 375, 385-86 (6th Cir. 2016) (concluding the district court erred in denying a motion to dismiss and that reliance on the warrant was entirely unreasonable where the affidavit did not draw a “plausible connection to the residence” to be searched); United States v. Underwood, 725 F.3d 1076, 1086-87 (9th Cir. 2013) (affirming district court’s suppression order and concluding that the Leon exception did not apply where the affidavit provided “no factual basis for the conclusion that drug trafficking evidence would be found at [the defendant’s] home” (emphasis in original)); United States v. Gonzales, 399 F.3d 1225, (10th Cir. 2005) (finding the Leon exception inapplicable where the affidavit lacked a “factual basis connecting the place to be searched to the defendant or suspected criminal activity” so that reliance on the warrant was “entirely unreasonable”); United States v. Laughton, 409 F.3d 744, 749 (6th Cir. 2005) (reversing a district court decision based on the Leon exception where there was no “modicum of evidence, however slight, to connect the criminal activity to the place to be searched”). This case, likewise, is the rare one where the complete lack of nexus renders reliance on the warrant entirely unreasonable precisely because there was no connection in the affidavit drawn between Ms. Castro’s home and Mr. Rios-Uscanga’s activities.

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