CT: Def didn’t satisfy guest standing, and co-conspirator standing rejected

Defendant lacked standing to challenge the search of a grow operation because it wasn’t his place. The fact there were a couple of pieces of mail and one piece of personal property at the place, without more, didn’t show how much defendant stayed there to have guest standing. Co-conspirator standing in the drug operation isn’t enough either. State v. Houghtaling, 2017 Conn. LEXIS 225 (July 25, 2017). From the syllabus:

The Appellate Court correctly concluded that the defendant lacked standing to challenge the warrantless search of the property because he lacked a subjective expectation of privacy therein: the defendant presented no evidence establishing the frequency and nature of his visits to the property or whether he retained the right to exclude others from all or part of the property, or any evidence indicating that he stayed at the property or otherwise continually used the property after leasing it to P, and the only evidence that may have connected the defendant to the property was a few pieces of mail and one personal item on the property, which did not establish how often the defendant visited the property or the nature of his relationship therewith; moreover, the defendant could not prevail on his claim that he maintained a connection with the property by participating in P’s marijuana grow operation, the defendant having failed to present sufficient evidence to establish the extent of his involvement with that operation. The defendant could not prevail on his claim that his confession to the police was the fruit of the unlawful stop of the defendant in his van and his subsequent warrantless arrest: the police were justified in detaining the defendant to further inquire about his relationship to the property because they had a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the defendant was connected with the marijuana grow operation, as the police could have reasonably inferred from their experience and knowledge of the grow operation, and from the defendant’s actions in light of the circumstances, that he was at least aware of, if not directly connected to, the activities occurring on the property; moreover, the defendant’s interaction with the police after their stop of the van and the fact that the van contained, in the plain view of the police officers, materials resembling those used to build the greenhouse, which the officers had previously observed was under construction, were sufficient to establish probable cause to believe that the defendant was involved with P’s marijuana grow operation and, thus, provided a basis on which to arrest the defendant.

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