S.D.Ga.: Failure to describe a CI as a “paid informant” isn’t material; every CI has a reason for providing information

Failure to describe the CI as a “paid informant” doesn’t undermine his credibility. Every issuing magistrate should know that a CI has some motive for providing information, be it money or leniency. United States v. Mobley, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86735 (S.D. Ga. May 23, 2018):

Defendant contends Investigator Capitosti’s failure to identify the CI as a paid informant undermines the reliability of the CI and Judge Jolly’s finding of probable cause, citing the Georgia Court of Appeals’ decision in Lyons v. State, 258 Ga. App. 9, 572 S.E.2d 632 (Ga. App. 2002). (Doc. no. 34, p. 10; doc. no. 46, p. 4.) The omission is not fatal. As one Court within the Eleventh Circuit has recognized, “‘It would have to be a very naïve magistrate who would suppose that a confidential informant would drop in off the street with . . . evidence and not have an ulterior motive. The magistrate would naturally have assumed that the informant was not a disinterested citizen.'” United States v. Taylor, No. CR 14-0303-CG, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138746, 2015 WL 5923580, at *3 (S.D. Ala. Oct. 12, 2015) (quoting United States v. Strifler, 851 F.2d 1197, 1201 (9th Cir. 1988)); see United States v. Shirley, No. 1:10-CR-167-JEC/AJB, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93517, 2011 WL 3704940, at *16 (N.D. Ga. July 7, 2011), report and recommendation adopted, No. 1:10-CR-167-JEC, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93505, 2011 WL 3687577 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 22, 2011) (“[C]ourts have held that a warrant does not violate Franks when the affidavit used to procure the warrant omitted the fact that an informant was paid for his cooperation.”) (citations omitted); see also United States v. Ofshe, 817 F.2d 1508, 1513 (11th Cir. 1987) (holding omission of CI’s criminal convictions and incarceration did not invalidate search warrant); United States v. Haimowitz, 706 F.2d 1549, 1555 (11th Cir. 1983) (holding omission of prior felonies and bad acts did not destroy probable cause). Therefore, probable cause exists even though Investigator Capitosti failed to include the CI was a paid informant in his affidavit. See Shirley, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93517, 2011 WL 3704940, at *16 (“Therefore, even if the issuing judge had been told that CS# 2 was paid after securing cocaine from [Defendant], probable cause still existed.”).

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