Ramsey County District Court File No. 62-CR-12-3894
SYLLABUS Where the evidence in the search-warrant affidavit demonstrates that a suspect possessed a gun, it is common sense and reasonable to infer that the suspect would keep that gun at his residence.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Connolly, Judge
Dissenting, Stauber, Judge
Considered and decided by Stauber, Presiding Judge; Connolly, Judge; and Crippen, Judge.*fn1
In this pretrial appeal, the state argues that the district court erred by finding a lack of nexus between the alleged criminal activity and respondent's residence, where the signed search warrant included evidence of drug dealing and evidence that respondent possessed and used a gun in committing a crime a few days before the search was executed. Because it was common sense and reasonable to infer that respondent would keep the gun at his residence, we reverse and remand.
On May 10, 2012, law enforcement requested a search warrant to search a residential address in St. Paul (the address). The affidavit in support of the search warrant application stated that respondent LaDream Hampton Yarbrough was allegedly involved in a terroristic-threats situation on May 7, 2012. According to the affidavit, respondent (1) accused the victim of stealing a "large amount of crack cocaine from him," (2) punched the victim, (3) brandished a .22 caliber handgun, and (4) fled in a maroon Chevrolet Caprice. The affidavit also alleged that the Caprice was driven by a black female and that the vehicle was registered to the address. The affidavit further alleged that "[u]sing the police data bases," law enforcement found documentation that respondent lives at the address. Finally, the affidavit alleged that (1) respondent had been arrested in February 2012, for possession of a controlled substance with intent; (2) crack cocaine and marijuana were recovered in the arrest; and (3) a confidential reliable informant (CRI) "knew [respondent] to deal in crack cocaine."
The search warrant was signed and, upon execution of the search warrant, law enforcement found drugs, a .22 caliber handgun, money, and other incriminating evidence. Respondent was subsequently charged with first- and fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, and receiving stolen property.
Respondent moved to suppress the evidence on the basis that no nexus existed between the place to be searched and the alleged criminal activity. The district court found that "even when the facts in this affidavit are considered as a whole, there is still no nexus between [respondent's] alleged drug activities, a gun, and the apartment searched." Thus, the court concluded that "the warrant was not supported by probable cause ...