This 26-page decision reads like a short novel of drug trafficking by 13 people, five of whom were defendants in this case. It involves numerous warrants and wiretap orders in a complex investigation lasting several months. The reason I selected this case to include in this edition of the Blue Flash is because one of the issues on appeal was whether probable cause existed to establish a “triggering condition” for an anticipatory search warrant.
Citing the Supreme Court in United States v. Grubbs, 547 U.S. 90 (2006), the defendant argued there was no probable cause to establish that the requisite “triggering condition” would occur. The Eight Circuit concluded that even if there was no probable cause established, the good-faith exception applied because under a totality of the circumstances the officer’s reliance on the warrant was objectively reasonable.
BONUS ISSUE: Another issue presented was whether “necessity” was established in a wiretap application. If you deal with wiretaps orders, you know that a judge must determine that normal investigative techniques have been exhausted or would be unlikely to succeed (futility) or would be too dangerous. The court held that conventional investigatory techniques did not yield all the information needed and therefore the necessity requirement was met.
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