Ramsey County District Court. File No. K8-02-3233.
Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Anderson, Judge, and Crippen, Judge.
Governing precedents do not require the district court, when considering the cause stated in an application for a search warrant, to disregard evidence obtained through use of a dog sniff, so long as use of the dog does not offend privacy expectations deemed by society to be reasonable. There is no such privacy expectation in the common areas of a gated, outdoor storage facility to which there is no claim that public access is restricted.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Crippen, Judge
Appellant challenges the validity of a dog sniff that subsequently served as a basis for the issuance of search warrants, arguing that officers needed a reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity to justify the dog sniff for Fourth Amendment purposes. Because we find no precedent extending restrictions on dog-sniffing evidence to such an extent, we affirm.
In June 2002, St. Paul police officers executed search warrants at the apartment of appellant Andre Lashon Carter, where illegal controlled substances were found, and in two storage units rented by appellant, where officers found a bag containing two firearms: a Norinco 7.62 pistol and a Beretta 9-millimeter pistol. Appellant was charged with one count of second-degree controlled-substance crime in violation of Minn. Stat. § 152.022, subds. 1(1), 3(b) (2002), and one count of possession of a firearm by an ineligible person in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 624.713, subds. 1(b), 2; 609.11, subd. 5(b) (2002).
The district court denied appellant's subsequent motion to suppress all evidence obtained pursuant to one of the warrants that appellant argued was not supported by probable cause. Particularly, appellant questioned the inclusion in the search warrant applications of dog-sniff evidence indicating that illegal narcotics might be present in the storage unit. After the two counts were severed for trial and the firearm-possession charge was tried, a jury found appellant guilty as charged. Appellant challenges the district court's denial of his motion to suppress and an evidentiary ruling at trial.
1. Did the district court err in not suppressing items obtained pursuant to a warrant obtained partly through the report of dog-sniff evidence?
2. Did the district court err in determining the relevance of appellant's tape-recorded ...