W.D.Pa.: Entrapment defense for trial was speculative for possession and wouldn’t suppress SW

There was probable cause for the search warrant of defendant’s premises (a tattoo parlor) for silencers. The defense of entrapment is a trial defense, not a defense to the search warrant, especially when the charge is possession not delivery. Also, the warrant wasn’t stale. United States v. Watson, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 226987 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 3, 2020):

This speculation does not undermine the Magistrate Judge’s basis for finding probable cause. To begin with, “[t]he possibility of an entrapment defense is not material to whether a search warrant should be issued which is otherwise sufficient on its face.” United States v. Call, No. 209-79, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23030, 2010 WL 932599, at *2 (D. Nev. Mar. 11, 2010); see also United States v. Christie, 570 F. Supp. 2d 657, 672 (D.N.J. 2008) (“While any improper activity by the FBI might be the basis for an entrapment defense, that potential affirmative defense does not change the fact that Christie made such postings from his computer in New Jersey, which is sufficient on its face for a finding of probable cause to issue a warrant.”); United States v. McCollum, No. 05-256, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31906, 2005 WL 3159662, at *6 (D. Neb. Nov. 28, 2005) (“Whatever merit the entrapment defense may have at trial, it was not material to the question of whether a search warrant should be issued.”).

But even if that were not so, Mr. Watson has not been charged with any crime related to his selling guns to the confidential informant. Instead, he is charged with unlawfully possessing ten silencers that were recovered during the later search of Omerta Ink. [ECF 2]. These silencers were not part of the informant’s controlled buys. As a result, any sort of entrapment during the informant’s controlled buys is inapposite to the crime for which Mr. Watson has been charged.

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