W.D.Wash.: A private actor who stole evidence as “insurance” was not an agent of the state for 4A purposes

“The evidence at best suggests that Young was securing the information he eventually turned over to the FBI from NWTM as a form of personal insurance against any action he suspected might be taken against him. There is no evidence that at the time he was securing this information that he was doing so at the direction of the FBI or any other law enforcement entity.” United States v. Hansen, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173838 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 7, 2019).*

Defendant’s conviction for possession of drugs was improper because the trial court erred by not suppressing evidence found during a warrantless search of a backpack that was sitting behind her at the time of her arrest. The State failed to establish that she had actual and exclusive possession of the backpack at, or immediately preceding, her arrest. Defendant’s backpack was merely sitting behind her at the time of her arrest and the State pointed to no evidence that she was holding, wearing, or carrying the backpack at any time during her contact with the officer; the officer himself testified that no one had reported seeing defendant carrying the backpack at any earlier time. State v. Alexander, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 2555 (Oct. 7, 2019).*

This entry was posted in Admissibility of evidence, Private search. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.