Hennepin County District Court File No. 03043279.
Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Schumacher, Judge; and Minge, Judge.
The forced entry by police officers into a residence five to ten seconds after knocking and announcing "police, search warrant" is not an unreasonable search requiring suppression of evidence seized.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert H. Schumacher, Judge
Appellant Jessie King, Jr. challenges his conviction of fifth-degree controlled substance crime under Minn. Stat. § 152.025, subds. 2(1), 3(b) (2002), arguing the district court erred in concluding there was probable cause supporting the search warrant and the police officers' entry into his apartment was reasonable. We affirm.
On June 17, 2003, Officer Kelly Kasel of the Minneapolis Police Department applied to the district court for a "knock and announce" search warrant to enter King's apartment and search for narcotics, weapons, and evidence of drug sales. In an affidavit attached to the application, Kasel stated that she had received citizen complaints that drugs were being sold from King's apartment and relayed the circumstances of a controlled buy that a confidential reliable informant working under Kasel's directions had made three days earlier. She also included the confidential reliable informant's description of the seller and the fact that the seller had provided the confidential reliable informant with the piece of paper containing two phone numbers. The search warrant was issued the same day.
At a hearing challenging the search warrant, Kasel testified to the following events regarding the controlled buy. She arranged for the confidential reliable informant to purchase controlled substances at King's apartment. Before sending the confidential reliable informant into the building to make the purchase, Kasel searched him and provided him with "buy" money. Kasel testified she then personally watched him go into the apartment building, but she did not see what occurred once the confidential reliable informant was inside the building. After the confidential reliable informant exited the building, he came directly to Kasel's location and produced .2 grams of crack cocaine.
Kasel also testified to the information she received from the confidential reliable informant after he exited the building. He told her that he "buzzed the buzzer for number 204" and he was buzzed in at the front door. He also told her that once he was inside apartment 204, he "exchanged their prerecorded buy money for the narcotics." In addition, he provided Kasel with a description of the seller and a piece of paper the seller had given him with two separate phone numbers and the name "Pokey" written on it. The confidential reliable informant also told her that the seller said that "if they ever wanted anything in the future, they could call."
Police executed the search warrant at King's apartment at 2:00 p.m. seven days after the search warrant was issued by the district court. Kasel testified that before entering the building she had the confidential reliable informant call Pokey to see if he was in the apartment and could sell additional narcotics. Kasel testified that Pokey told the confidential reliable informant he was home and available to sell narcotics.
Kasel testified that she was present when the warrant was executed and the following events occurred as the police attempted to enter King's apartment. Although she stayed behind other officers when they entered the apartment, she could see the officers at the apartment door. She heard them knock on the door and announce, "Police, search warrant." She testified that after waiting about five to ten seconds, the officers broke the door down and entered the apartment.
Officer Roger Smith, who was the "point officer" when the police entered King's apartment, testified the search warrant was executed as follows. As the police approached King's apartment, Smith was the second officer in the formation but was the one who actually knocked on the door. Before he knocked, he could hear sounds coming from the television inside the apartment. After he knocked he heard a male voice say, "Who is it?" Smith believed it sounded as though the response came from a person within 10 to 15 feet of the door. Smith replied, "Police, search warrant" and waited for someone to answer the door. Smith did not hear any noises that sounded like someone was approaching the door. He waited "at least five to ten seconds minimum" and then ...