Stearns County District Court File No. 73-CR-10-11296
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Janelle P. Kendall, Stearns County Attorney, Michael J. Lieberg, Assistant County Attorney, St. Cloud, Minnesota (for respondent).
Kristian L. Oyen, Savage, Minnesota (for appellant).
Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge; Larkin, Judge; and Rodenberg, Judge.
Appellant challenges his conviction of two counts of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm, in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 152.025, subd. 2(a)(1), 609.11, subd. 5(a) (2010), arguing that the district court erred in finding that the search warrant was supported by probable cause and that the firearm-enhancement statute applies to his case. We affirm.
The Stearns County Sheriff's Office received a tip that, while attending a house party, an individual saw marijuana plants growing in the basement and was offered marijuana by an occupant of the house. The individual was known to law enforcement, but requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. The individual advised police that she or he recognized the marijuana based on previous training in the detection and identification of illegal or controlled substances. A background check revealed that the individual had no criminal history.
In response to the tip, Investigator Dan Miller drove past the house and checked the license-plate number of a car that was parked outside. The car was registered to Levi Bo Dean Donson with that address as his residence. Investigator Miller ran a criminal-history check on Donson and found that he had a 2005 felony conviction for fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.
Investigator Miller applied for a search warrant, supported by an affidavit stating that the tip came from a "concerned citizen" who was "fully identified by [Investigator Miller], but wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation." It stated that Investigator Miller was "aware that the concerned citizen has attended training for the detection and identification of illegal or controlled substances" and that Investigator Miller had reviewed the criminal history of the concerned citizen and found no criminal history. The affidavit further stated that within the last seven days, the concerned citizen "observed marijuana plants growing at [the residence]" and that "residents of the house offered marijuana to [the concerned citizen] to 'get high.'" Based on the affidavit, the district court granted the search warrant.
Two residents were present during the search—Donson and Jacob Bruce Erickson—as well as two minors. Erickson advised the officers that appellant Michael Robert Jonnes had recently moved into the basement and that he probably had firearms in a safe in his bedroom. Among other items, officers removed the following from Jonnes's room: approximately 60.7 grams of marijuana from the top of a cabinet; a loaded .40 handgun located approximately six inches away from the marijuana; a loaded .357 magnum revolver located inside of another cabinet; drug paraphernalia; ammunition; approximately 9.9 grams of psilocybin mushrooms; and a driver's license in the name of Michael Jonnes. Officers also found drugs in Donson and Erickson's bedrooms and in the kitchen.
Jonnes was charged with two counts of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance while in constructive possession of a firearm and one count of aiding and abetting fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance. Jonnes moved to suppress the evidence gained by the search, but the district court denied the motion. Following a bench trial on stipulated facts, the district court found Jonnes guilty of two counts of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm and not guilty of ...