E.D.Ky.: Yes, there were flaws in the warrant application, but it still showed PC on the totality

The search warrant permitted a search of things on the curtilage like a camper, vehicles, shed, and a garage all in close proximity to the house. The affidavit has its flaws, but it’s good enough on the totality to show probable cause and enable the good faith exception. United States v. Melton, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59663 (E.D. Ky. Apr. 8, 2019)*:

The application, a human product, has some flaws. Benge could have detailed his corroborative efforts better. The photo could be clearer, and the description could be more precise. Benge could have eliminated the Ghent error and could have included finer data on SOI#1’s dates of involvement. The Court’s role is not to catalog deficits but rather to judge the sufficiency of the whole in a commonsense, reasonable manner, giving proper deference to the issuing judge. Here, probable cause is a fairly close call, but the Court sees a substantial basis for warrant issuance (a sufficiently credible and reliable attributed tip, from a known source with extensive ties to the premises, confessing criminal exposure, of very recent and well detailed high-volume trafficking at Melton’s garage and home). Judge House independently reviewed the application and did not act arbitrarily in authorizing the search. The motion to suppress thus fails.

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