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Hamilton County Dealing Marijuana Conviction Reversed

A Hamilton County man’s convictions for Class C felony dealing in marijuana and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance have been reversed.
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined the two tips that served as the basis of the probable cause affidavit to search the man’s home were unreliable. In addition, the Court determined the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department recklessly omitted significant information from the affidavit. The question of the informants’ reliability, along with the omitted information, resulted in the Court’s conclusion that there was insufficient probable cause to search the man’s home.
A Hamilton County detective received a tip from a confidential informant (CI) that a man was selling marijuana out of his home in Westfield. Soon after, the CI was “deactivated” for failure to complete requirements before his case was adjudicated. As a result of the deactivation, the investigation against the defendant stopped.
One month later, the investigation commenced when the detective received another tip that the man was dealing marijuana, this time from an anonymous source.
Based on the two tips, the detective applied for and obtained a search warrant for a canine drug sniff of the man’s property. The dog indicated the presence of drugs. The police obtained an additional warrant to search the interior of the residence and found numerous indicators of dealing marijuana, including a grow room, scales, seeds, and marijuana in baggies and jars. The man was convicted of Class C felony dealing in marijuana and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.
At appeal, the Court determined there were several issues with the first affidavit of probable cause to search the house.

Having your property searched by police is highly invasive, which is why Indiana law protects its citizens from unreasonable searches. If you were the subject of a police search and are facing criminal charges, an experienced criminal defense attorney can review the facts of your case and determine any viable defenses. Call Gibson Law Office for a free initial consultation at one of our offices located in Fort Wayne and Lafayette.