Dakota County District Court File No. K6-03-1827
Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge; Stoneburner, Judge;
and Hudson, Judge.
A tip from a confidential, reliable informant stating that an individual possesses illegal drugs, describing the person in detail, and predicting that person's future behavior, when corroborated by police, provides sufficient probable cause to stop and search the described person.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: G. Barry Anderson, Judge
Law-enforcement officers received a tip from a confidential, reliable informant (CRI) stating that a man named "O" would be arriving at a particular address in Apple Valley with crack cocaine. After the officers set up surveillance, the CRI called and stated that O would be driving a rental car and described O's clothing in detail. Respondent, Orlando Ross, arrived at the appointed time, and the officers detained and searched him, finding crack cocaine. The district court found that there were insufficient indicia of the CRI's reliability to conclude that there was probable cause to search respondent and ordered the evidence suppressed and the charges dismissed. We reverse.
On May 30, 2003, Agent Jason Weishaar was contacted by a CRI. The CRI had previously provided accurate information resulting in successful arrests. The CRI stated that crack cocaine was going to be delivered to 7265 Upper 127th Street in Apple Valley, Minnesota, at 2:30 p.m. The CRI identified the deliveryman as "O" and provided O's license plate number; a vehicle registration check revealed that the license plate was registered to respondent.
Weishaar and other law-enforcement officers set up surveillance at the stated address. While the officers were waiting, the CRI contacted Weishaar again and informed him that O would instead be driving a maroon rental car and wearing a black golf hat and a blue shirt; the CRI also said that the drugs would be in the trunk of the car. Shortly after this, apparently around 2:30 p.m., respondent arrived at the scene in a maroon rental car wearing a black golf hat and a blue shirt. Respondent was detained and handcuffed and the trunk of the car was searched; the search yielded a number of respondent's personal items and two baggies of crack cocaine, one weighing 42.76 grams and the other weighing 18.77 grams. Respondent was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance in the first degree pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 152.021, subds. 2(1), 3(a) (2002).
The district court ordered suppression of the evidence and dismissal of the charges, reasoning that there was no evidence of the CRI's reliability or the CRI's basis of knowledge. This appeal followed.
Did the district court clearly err in suppressing the evidence obtained during the warrantless ...