W.D.N.Y.: Officer’s experience shown in SW affidavit that large scale drug dealers keep it at home can be nexus

Nexus is shown to defendant’s home; the high level of his alleged drug dealing coupled with the officer’s experience that it is reasonably likely that he’d have drugs in the home. United States v. Rivera-Figueroa, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8805 (W.D. N.Y. Jan. 18, 2019):

First, the affidavit submitted in support of the search warrant provided detailed evidence, including recorded phone calls and text messages, that the agent interpreted as establishing James’s “ability to purchase half kilogram quantities of cocaine on an almost weekly basis” and making him “a high level cocaine trafficker.” Docket Item 253 at 27 (quoting Docket Item 144-1 at ¶ 223). That alone, coupled with the agent’s opinion that James would likely have drugs and sales proceeds “at 1080 99th Street,” id., was enough to establish probable cause for a warrant to search that location. See United States v. Mikhailin, 2013 WL 4399046, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. 2013) (“[i]n assessing whether contraband is likely to be found at a conspirator’s home, an issuing judge is entitled to rely both on an agent’s expert opinion and on the commonsense notion that an individual may have evidence of that conspiracy located in his residence”); United States v. Pignard, 2007 WL 431863, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. 2007) (“courts in this Circuit have consistently ruled that it is proper for a judge to find probable cause to search a residence where there is evidence of narcotics trafficking and a law enforcement officer has opined that narcotics traffickers keep evidence of their illicit activities at their residence”); cf. United States v. Cruz, 785 F.2d 399, 404-05 (2d Cir. 1986) (probable cause to search the apartment of suspected drug dealer existed where “no agent saw [him] or any of his associates use the apartment,” but the affiant “ventured his opinion that, based upon his experience, narcotics dealers ‘customarily’ maintain apartments and other locations apart from their residences in furtherance of their business”).

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