Monday, August 06, 2007

Informant's Personal Observations of Crime Support Warrant

State v. Weber, No. 06-1792 (Iowa Ct. App. July 25, 2007)

A confidential informant told police he'd seen a bag of marijuana at Weber's residence and seen people smoking marijuana on several occasions there as well. A warrant was issued, a search was made, marijuana and a pipe was retrieved, and Weber was charged.

Weber moved to suppress the evidence, alleging that there was insufficient probable cause to issue the search warrant and that the application did not establish the credibility of the informant.

After disposing of the state's contention that Weber's appeal was untimely filed the court moved to the substance of the appeal. Weber argued that there was no indicia of the informant's reliability such as a track record that could support a conclusion that he was reliable, and that there was no corroboration, although the officer did verify that the informant had given the correct address.

The court found that the personal observations of crime by the informant enhanced the reliability of his statements, and that his descriptions and the training and knowledge of the investigating office provided enough probable cause to support the warrant.


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