D.N.M.: A lesson in proving nexus for a SW for a house for evidence of a shooting incident happening elsewhere

A lesson in proving nexus for a search warrant for a house in a shooting incident elsewhere. United States v. Coriz, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22857 (D.N.M. Feb. 10, 2023).* All warrant affidavits should be this good, and you can’t ask for more than this:

Here, Detective Alire’s affidavit establishes a fair probability that evidence of criminal activity would be found in the residence, curtilage, and vehicles at 2416 Camino Capitan, and the issuing magistrate had a substantial basis to reach that conclusion. Gates, 462 U.S. at 238-39. Defendant contends that the affidavit “fails to explain why the items being sought would be located inside the residence.” (Doc. 34 at 5 (emphasis in original).) The Court disagrees. First, the affidavit includes Detective Alire’s attestation that he had reason to believe evidence of the crimes of shooting at a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence, negligent use of a deadly weapon, and criminal damage to property were concealed in the listed locations. (Doc. 48, Ex. 1 at 1-2.)

Then, the affidavit sets forth detailed facts to justify Detective Alire’s belief, and these facts so plainly support the inference that evidence of the listed crimes was likely to be found in the listed locations that no further explanation is needed. (Id. at 3-5.) Without repeating all of these facts verbatim, the Court particularly notes that Detective Alire relied on surveillance camera footage showing that: (1) shortly after 2:30 a.m. on January 1, 2021, six people exited the residence at 2416 Camino Capitan and argued with someone in a sedan parked in front of it; (2) one of the occupants of the residence got into the sedan; (3) as the sedan started driving away, two of the remaining occupants shot at the sedan, one from the driveway and one from the street; (4) all five remaining occupants then reentered the residence; (5) at about 2:49 a.m., two people got into a dark vehicle in the driveway and drove away; (6) at about 3:26 a.m., two people exited the residence, searched the ground with flashlights, bent down to pick up objects, and returned inside; (7) at about 3:51 a.m., after officers had searched the area, two people again exited the residence and searched the ground with flashlights before going back inside; (8) at about 4:19 a.m., the dark vehicle returned and parked in the driveway, and two people exited it and entered the residence; (9) at about 4:25 a.m., two people exited the residence, got into a dark vehicle, and drove away; (10) at 5:25 a.m., one person exited the residence, appeared to rummage in a vehicle, and returned inside; and, (11) the person who told officers to get a warrant to search the premises appeared to be one of the people seen picking up items from the driveway earlier.

The foregoing evidence clearly establishes a very strong probability that two people who were occupying the residence at 2416 Camino Capitan at 2:30 a.m. on January 1, 2021, came out of the residence, shot at an occupied motor vehicle, and returned inside with the firearms they had just used. It also establishes more than a fair probability that these two people, or others also occupying the residence in the early morning hours, later exited the residence, retrieved shell casings or other evidence of the shooting, and returned inside with this evidence. And it establishes a fair probability that the firearms, shell casings, and other evidence remained on the premises, or in vehicles that occupants of the residence accessed, until the warrant was issued later that day.

This entry was posted in Nexus. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.