CA4: Firearms are usually kept at home, and nexus was shown

The only inference that can be drawn from the affidavit is that there was a firearm in defendant’s house, and this satisfied the nexus requirement. Firearms are usually kept in the home. Because the affidavit showed probable cause, the good faith exception is moot. United States v. Wienke, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11358 (4th Cir. May 2, 2018):

Wienke’s argument lacks merit. To the extent that we look to the evidence of criminal conduct when reviewing the validity of a search warrant, we do so to determine whether “the items sought are in fact seizable by virtue of being connected with criminal activity.” Zurcher, 436 U.S. at 556 n.6. The warrant application contained ample evidence indicating a fair probability that the items the search warrant sought to seize were evidence of criminal activity. Mann’s affidavit described his firsthand observations and those of other DHS security officers on June 9 when they saw Wienke 1) with a knapsack filled with numerous suspicious items, including two radio communication devices, pepper spray, and a knife; 2) attempt to enter a highly secure DHS facility with those items; 3) carry a concealed firearm loaded with hollow point bullets into that secure facility; and 4) carry the concealed firearm in close proximity to a meeting place of high-level DHS officials. Such firsthand observations and personal knowledge may be used in establishing probable cause. See, e.g., United States v. Wylie, 705 F.2d 1388, 1392 (4th Cir. 1983). Further, Mann’s training and experience informed his reasonable inference from these facts that there was a likelihood that Wienke was conspiring to harm the DHS officials or otherwise commit workplace violence. Even without relying on Mann’s training and experience, a reasonable person could infer that someone who enters a highly secure government building without authority to possess therein a knife, radios, pepper spray, an infrared camera, handcuffs, and a concealed, loaded firearm adjacent to a high level DHS meeting may be plotting unlawful actions. Indeed, it would be unreasonable not to make that inference.

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