CA8: Package with anticipatory SW was placed back on porch with “return to sender” on it; search still constitutionally sufficient

In this anticipatory warrant case, the package was received, but it was placed back outside with “return to sender” written on it. Still, the warrant was constitutionally sufficient and the officers supplying their own triggering event, one not provided for in the warrant, was not unreasonable under the good faith exception. The evidence still supported defendant’s conviction for conspiracy. United States v. Brown, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 21019 (July 16, 2019):

Brown argues the officers could not reasonably have believed probable cause existed to execute the warrant after the package was placed back outside. However, there is nothing to indicate that the officers unreasonably relied on the warrant. Even if the warrant should have been more narrowly tailored, the text of the warrant itself only specified transportation of the methamphetamine inside the residence—an act which all parties agree occurred. Furthermore, Inspector Farmer testified that the officers did not realize “Return to Sender” had been written on the package until after they executed the warrant. Finally, officers observed Brown and his coconspirators engaging in suspicious behavior before Brown brought the package into the residence, strengthening their belief that they had probable cause to execute the warrant.

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