State v. Spencer
When law enforcement agents possess a warrant to search and discover additional items that are not included in the search warrant, law enforcement agents can charge a defendant with possession of the additional items, if they are discovered in "plain view." On April 23, 2010, law enforcement agents allegedly conducted a search of the defendant, Charles Spencer's, residence. The defendant moved to suppress and argued that law enforcement filed a "boiler plate" search affidavit, and that there was minimal evidence that illegal activity had been taking place at his residence. The court found that the 17-page search affidavit was not "boiler plate." It described a pattern of drug trafficking activity and it identified specific individuals and motor vehicles and the information that confidential informants furnished. It indicated that the defendant, a convicted felon, is the father of two drug traffickers, who allegedly return to the defendant's address between drug transactions, and that weapons previously had been discovered at the defendant's address, in connection with a prior investigation of firearms and drug activities. Probable cause existed to issue a search warrant for the defendant's residence, and the court denied the defendant's motion to suppress. In a separate memorandum in another docket number, the court considered the same defendant's motion to suppress on the basis that certain items discovered at the defendant's residence during the search were not listed in the search warrant. The state objected that during the lawful search it discovered additional items, electronic weapons, which were in "plain view," and that the defendant, a convicted felon, knew he was not permitted to possess the weapons. Because law enforcement found the items when they were lawfully on the premises pursuant to a search warrant, they were allowed to take the electronic weapons that they allegedly discovered at the defendant's residence. The court denied the defendant's motion to suppress evidence of electronic weapons.