Roseau County District Court File No. 68-CR-11-966
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Karen M. Foss, Roseau County Attorney, Michael P. Grover, Assistant County Attorney, Roseau, Minnesota (for respondent)
David W. Merchant, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Bridget Kearns Sabo, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Aaron G. Thomas, Special Assistant Public Defender, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Connolly, Presiding Judge; Larkin, Judge; and Cleary, Judge.
On appeal from his conviction of a fifth-degree controlled-substance crime, appellant argues that (1) the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence seized from an unlawfully expanded investigatory stop and pat-down search for weapons and (2) the district court erred in ruling that appellant's wallet was searched incident to a lawful arrest. Because there was probable cause to support appellant's arrest and because his arrest was not otherwise unlawful, we affirm.
On or about October 4, 2011, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Special Agent Newhouse and Investigator Adams of the Roseau County Sheriff's Department interviewed a confidential informant (CI) who informed the officers that appellant Matthew Millsop and another individual, David Barkley, were involved in possessing and distributing methamphetamine in the Roseau County area. The CI told the officers that on or about October 3, he had observed appellant purchase an "eight ball" quantity of methamphetamine from Barkley. The CI further told the officers that he had drug-related communications with both Barkley and appellant via text messaging, which the CI showed the officers.
On October 4, Newhouse, Adams, and BCA Special Agent Woolever used the CI to conduct a controlled buy of a small amount of methamphetamine from Barkley near Warroad. Two additional controlled buys from Barkley took place at some point thereafter. Newhouse was aware that there had also been a controlled buy of prescription medications from appellant and that the related investigation was ongoing.
On or about October 17, Newhouse was advised by the Warroad police chief that Seven Clans Casino security personnel had discovered a small baggie containing a substance resembling methamphetamine on or about October 11. Newhouse reviewed the incident report, which included a casino surveillance photo of one of the individuals that casino security personnel believed had dropped the baggie, and recognized the individual as Barkley.
That same day, Newhouse contacted the Red Lake Police Department and scheduled a meeting with the police and casino security personnel for October 18. At the meeting, casino security personnel told Newhouse that they had been observing suspicious activities in and around the casino involving several individuals who they believed were involved in possessing and/or distributing methamphetamine as well as laundering money from drug sales through the casino. Newhouse was shown several photographs of the individuals that casino security had been monitoring and recognized the individuals as appellant, Barkley, and others. Casino security personnel told Newhouse that they had reviewed surveillance video from the day they found the baggie with what appeared to be methamphetamine and that the video indicated that the baggie was dropped by appellant or Barkley, who had been seated next to each other and had been removing items from their pockets. Casino security personnel told Newhouse that they would continue monitoring the activities of these individuals and that they would contact the Red Lake Police Department if any additional suspicious behavior was observed.
At approximately 9:00 p.m. on October 20, Newhouse received a telephone call from Investigator Brunelle of the Red Lake Police Department. Brunelle advised Newhouse "that he had received information from Red Lake Casino security persons" that appellant, Barkley, and "some other individuals [discussed at the previous meeting] may be at the casino, that they were concerned that they may be involved in selling drugs and/or laundering money."
After receiving the call from Brunelle, Newhouse contacted Woolever, advised him of what was happening at the casino, and requested his assistance. Newhouse then drove to Warroad to start conducting surveillance outside of the casino near the parking lot. At the time he arrived, Newhouse observed appellant's vehicle leaving the parking lot area and driving away. Newhouse lost sight of the vehicle but remained at the casino because "there were other suspects involved in [the] investigation [besides appellant] who had outstanding felony warrants" who law enforcement wanted to apprehend. While Newhouse continued surveillance, he did not enter the casino or witness any of the surveillance video of the allegedly suspicious behavior. Newhouse did, however, have telephone conversations with Brunelle, who was traveling from Bemidji to Warroad, and with casino ...