OH4: PC shown by inference that def had drugs in hotel room; officers don’t have to see a drug transaction to have PC

An actual drug transaction doesn’t have to happen for officers to have probable cause defendant likely had drugs in his hotel room. The investigation here developed logical inferences that’s what defendant was doing, and there was a nexus between his drug activity and the hotel room. State v. Baker, 2018-Ohio-762, 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 797 (4th Dist. Feb. 14, 2018):

[*P16] The state responds that probable cause may be based on inferences, and that the direct observation of an actual drug transaction is not required to establish probable cause. Appellee points out that: (1) appellant and Kirby had checked into Room 212, (2) appellant has a lengthy felony drug history, concentrated in recent years, (3) Kirby has been arrested for possession with intent to deliver and had, according to Agent Lindsey, sold heroin to Parkersburg officers less than two months earlier, and (4) Agent Stalnaker informed Lt. Staats that Parkersburg agents were scheduled that night to buy heroin from Kirby. The state contends that, based upon these facts, a reasonable law enforcement officer would conclude that appellant and Kirby were engaged in trafficking heroin. Thus, appellee reasons, ample evidence existed to conclude that Kirby and appellant would have drugs, cash, paraphernalia, and communications about drugs on their persons, and in their room, prior to, and after, the sale scheduled to be made in Parkersburg later that night.

[*P17] After our review, we agree with the trial court’s conclusion that a sufficient nexus existed between Room 212 and the alleged drug activity. …

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