Re: Drug dealers

Dave, I like your idea. You reminded me of a typical law school exam senario.

There are a lot of Fourth Amendment Issues that deal with this topic. First, all evidence seized as a result of drug sniffing dogs would probably be inadmissible under the exclusionary rule. The mobile home and the immediate yard surrounding it are called the curtilage. Police cannot generally use enhanced devices to detect drugs while entering the curtilage. The only exceptions are hot pursuit, search incident to arrest, a valid warrant, consent, etc… For example, there is a famous case where police used a pair of binoculars to look into a window from the road.

The police saw the marijuana plants and used such evidence to get a search warrant. ALso, drugs obtained by police when they walk to the side of a home and look through garbage cans will be excluded. That is why police wait until the trash is put to the curb first.

The Court ruled that because the fruits of the search “the drugs” were obained in violation of the fourth amendment of the US constitution,(because an enhanced device was used) all evidence derived therefrom was inadmissible against the defendant, because they were “tainted fruits of the poisonus tree.”

The best way to get rid of drug dealers is to work with local police and get a nark to wear a wire and buy from the mobile and then turn the drugs over to the police. Police will use said evidence to get a search warrant and go to the mobile and bust the drug dealers.

The Ilinois v Gates case said that 1. a person has to have a subjective expectation of privacy, AND

                                             2. it must be one that society will recognize as reasonable.

We all have a subjective expectation of privacy in our homes if we keep doors closed and don’t put the drugs directly in the window on display, etc…the dog sniffing would work well in common areas of the park but not individual mobile home lots.

Also, informants can supply information sufficient to obtain a search or arrest warrant. There is a Supreme Court case where a police station received a letter describing a drug deal. The letter said that a blond haired lady, named julie smith, wearing a white coat with red shoes would be arriving at Orlando International airport on for ex: Dec 10, 2009, via Delta airlines, flight 232. She wouldl be carrying a green suitcase with 4 kilos of cocaine. Furthermore, the letter said, for example, that the lady would be in the airport for only one hour and would thereafter be boarding a plane to Miami, etc… This evidence was sufficient to obtain a search warrant. Why? The Court said that judges must look to the

  1. Reliability of the information (the more detail the better a chance to establish objective reliability) AND OR

  2. The reliability of the informant. (ask has this informant given accurrate information in the past, etc… if yes the informant is deemed reliabe).

Either element alone can suffice to supply probable cause for a search warrant…

I do, however, think that the drug sniffing dog idea is great because it will surely scare the residents and potentially stop the drug dealing which is the primary goal.