Grand Rapids police received tips describing vehicles May-Shaw was using to transport drugs and a specific bag where he kept drugs, money, and a gun. They began investigating and used a pole camera for 23 days to watch a parking lot near his apartment building and a covered carport next to that building where May-Shaw parked his BMW. The surveillance used a camera affixed to a telephone pole on a public street and cameras in a surveillance van parked in the parking lot. After witnessing May-Shaw engage in several suspected drug deals, the police used a drug-detecting dog to sniff the BMW. The dog indicated the presence of narcotics. Officers then obtained a search warrant for May-Shaw’s apartment and all of his vehicles. They found evidence of drug distribution, including cash, wrappers, and cocaine. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the denial of his motion to suppress the evidence from his apartment and vehicles. May-Shaw did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the carport such that police surveillance constituted a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Nor was the carport within the curtilage of his apartment such that the dog sniff was unconstitutional.
Note: The Sixth Circuit yet again refused to embrace the Mosaic theory to the use of extended pole camera surveillance. This case will be on the next podcast episode of Broadcast Blue.