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United States v. Haynes

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

February 14, 2018

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Willie B. Haynes, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued January 24, 2018

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division. No. 15CR50022-1 - Philip G. Reinhard, Judge.

          Before Bauer, Kanne, and Barrett, Circuit Judges.

          PER CURIAM.

         Willie Haynes was indicted after sheriff's deputies in Winnebago County executed a search warrant and found drugs and a loaded handgun in his house. Haynes pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and cocaine base with intent to distribute and to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime; he was sentenced to 108 months' imprisonment. Haynes argues that the items found during the search should have been suppressed because, he says, the affidavit supporting the warrant did not establish probable cause. We affirm the judgment.

         I. Background

         A confidential informant ("CI") contacted Deputy Fred Jones in early April 2015 and told him that he had recently purchased crack cocaine from "a larger black male" who was selling drugs from his house and that the CI had spoken with the suspect about purchasing more drugs in the future. The CI agreed to participate in a controlled buy. He advised Jones that the suspect would drive from his house and meet the CI in the car to make the sale.

         In the days following the CI's tip, Jones periodically sur-veilled the house at the address the CI had reported. Several times he saw a man fitting the CI's description leave the house, get into a car, drive away, and meet with different individuals in the car for about four to ten minutes. Based on his training and 10 years' experience, Jones believed that these episodes were drug sales.

         Members of the County Narcotics Team then set up a controlled purchase of crack cocaine from the suspect. The deputies positioned surveillance on the house and in the surrounding neighborhood. One of them searched the CI and found that he had neither drugs nor money on his person. Deputy Jones then gave the CI $60 for buy money. The CI called the suspect and arranged the purchase; Jones could hear both sides of the conversation. The suspect left the house, got into a car, drove approximately four blocks, and met the CI at an intersection. The CI entered the vehicle, sat in the passenger seat, and exited minutes later. The suspect drove back to the house and went inside. The deputies observed the suspect with an unobstructed view from the time he left the house to the time he reentered.

         The CI returned and told Jones that he purchased crack cocaine from the man in the car. He then handed over a bag with 0.7 grams of a white, rocklike substance that later tested positive for cocaine. Police again searched the CI and found him free of cash and drugs.

         Jones applied for a warrant to search the house and submitted an affidavit that recounted the facts as we have summarized them. In the affidavit Jones described the CI's participation but said almost nothing about the CI himself. The CI also did not appear before the circuit judge. Based on Jones's affidavit, the judge issued a warrant that gave the sheriff's deputies four days to search the house and seize drugs, drug paraphernalia, cash, and firearms, among other things.

         The sheriff's deputies timely executed the warrant. They found approximately 16 grams of mixtures containing heroin; 8.4 grams of mixtures containing crack cocaine; 1.6 grams of marijuana; a loaded pistol; drug paraphernalia including digital scales, plastic baggies, Dormin (a sleep aid used to cut or dilute heroin), and fake soda cans used to conceal drugs; and $1, 174 in cash. Haynes was arrested. At the sheriff's department, Haynes admitted that everything seized was his, that he intended to distribute the drugs, and that he kept the gun for protection.

         As relevant here, Haynes was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base, 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(a). Haynes moved to suppress the evidence found during the search, arguing that the warrant was not based on probable cause. The district judge denied the motion. The judge reasoned that the CI's tip, corroborated by surveillance and the controlled buy, provided probable cause; alternatively, he determined that the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied.

         Haynes pleaded guilty. As part of the plea agreement, Haynes reserved his right to appeal the ...

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