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United States v. Gibson

United States District Court, District of Minnesota

November 4, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
Ryan Jaris Gibson, Defendant

For Ryan Jaris Gibson, Defendant: Thomas H Shiah, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Offices of Thomas H Shiah, Mpls, MN.

For USA, Plaintiff: Kevin S Ueland, LEAD ATTORNEY, United States Attorney's Office, Minneapolis, MN.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Leo I. Brisbois, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

This matter came before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge upon Defendant Ryan Jaris Gibson's (" Defendant") Motion to Suppress Any Evidence Obtained as a Result of Any Illegal Searches, [Docket No. 16], and Motion to Suppress Statements, [Docket No. 17]. This case has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for a report and recommendation, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 72.1. The Court held a motions hearing on October 27, 2014, regarding Defendant's pretrial motions.

For reasons discussed herein, the Court recommends that Defendant's Motion to Suppress Any Evidence Obtained as a Result of Any Illegal Searches, [Docket No. 16], and Motion to Suppress Statements, [Docket No. 17], be DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Background

Defendant is charged with one count of possession of child pornography, in violation 18 U.S.C. § § 2252(a)(4)(B), 2252(b)(2), and 2253. (Indictment [Docket No. 1]).

II. DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS ANY EVIDENCE OBTAINED AS A RESULT OF ANY ILLEGAL SEARCHES, [DOCKET NO. 16]

Defendant first moves the Court to suppress physical evidence obtained as a result of any search or seizure in the present case, arguing that both search warrants, (Gov't.'s Exs. 2 and 3), were issued without sufficient showings of probable cause. (See Def.' Motion to Suppress Any Evidence Obtained as a Result of Any Illegal Searches, [Docket No. 16]).

As initially submitted, Defendant's motion specifically asserted that the affidavits submitted in support of the applications for the search warrants for his residence, his person, and his place of employment did not provide probable cause because the only information contained in the affidavits linking images of child pornography to his home computer consisted of an specific Internet Protocol (" IP") address, and because the drafter of the affidavits omitted material information, namely, whether Defendant's internet service provider uses static or dynamic IP addresses for its subscribers. (See Id. at 2).

At the motions hearing, Defendant orally withdrew the portion of his motion that argued material omissions had been made in the drafting of the affidavits supporting the applications for the search warrants. Defense counsel also stated on the record that the present motion is limited to a " four-corners" review concerning the sufficiency of the probable cause articulated in each of the search warrant applications' supporting affidavits.[1]

A. Standard of Review

The Fourth Amendment guarantees the " right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, " and that " no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation." U.S. Const. Amend. IV. The Eighth Circuit has held that " [a]n affidavit establishes probable cause for a warrant if it sets forth sufficient facts to establish that there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of criminal activity will be found in the particular place to be searched." United States v. Mutschelknaus, 592 F.3d 826, 828 (8th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). " Probable cause is a fluid concept that focuses on 'the factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent men, not legal technicians, act.'" United States v. Colbert, 605 F.3d 573, 576 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 231, 103 S.Ct. 2317, 76 L.Ed.2d 527 (1983)). Courts use a " totality of the circumstances test . . . to determine whether probable cause exists." United States v. Hager, 710 F.3d 830, 836 (8th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted).

As alluded to above, the sufficiency of a search warrant affidavit is examined using " common sense and not a hypertechnical approach." United States v. Grant, 490 F.3d 627, 632 (8th Cir. 2007) (citation and internal quotations omitted). " In ruling on a motion to suppress, probable cause is determined based on 'the information before the issuing judicial officer.'" United States v. Smith, 581 F.3d 692, 694 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting United States v. Reivich, 793 F.2d 957, 959 (8th Cir. 1986)). " Therefore, '[w]hen the [issuing judge] relied solely upon the supporting affidavit to issue the warrant, only that information which is found in the four corners of the affidavit may be considered in determining the existence of probable cause.'" United States v. Wiley, No. 09-cr-239 (JRT/FLN), 2009 WL 5033956, at *2 (D. Minn. Dec. 15, 2009) (Tunheim, J.) (quoting United States v. Solomon, 432 F.3d 824, 827 (8th Cir. 2005); edits in Wiley). In addition, " [a] magistrate's 'determination of probable cause should be paid great deference by reviewing courts, '" Gates, 462 U.S. at 236 (quoting Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410, 419, 89 S.Ct. 584, 21 L.Ed.2d 637 (1969)). " [T]he duty of a reviewing court is simply to ensure that the magistrate had a 'substantial basis for . . . [concluding]' that probable cause existed." Id. at 238-39 (quoting Jones v. United States, 362 U.S. 257, 271, 80 S.Ct. 725, 4 L.Ed.2d 697 (1960)).

B. The Warrants Background

There are two challenged search warrant applications in the present case, both of which were drafted by Duluth Police Department Investigator Jeanine Pauly[2] on May 22, 2014. (Gov't. Ex. 1, 10; Gov't. Ex. 2, 10). The probable cause statements in the affidavits supporting the applications for the warrants are identical. (See Gov't. Ex. 1, 7-10; Gov't. Ex. 2, 7-10). Based on the information provided in Investigator Pauly's affidavits in support of the applications for the search warrants, the Court concludes that the issuing judge had a substantial basis upon which to ...


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