STATE v. TEUDI FLORES, SC 19207

Judicial District of New Haven

 

†††† †Criminal; Search and Seizure; Whether Search Warrant was Supported by Probable Cause; Whether Warrant was Based on Stale Evidence.† The defendant was convicted, on a conditional plea of nolo contendere, of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, stealing a firearm, home invasion, second degree robbery and third degree burglary.† The defendant appealed to the Appellate Court, claiming that the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress evidence that police seized from his apartment during a search executed pursuant to a warrant.† The police obtained the warrant on the basis of statements made on January 27, 2010, by an individual who was in custody after having been arrested for various crimes.† The informant told the police that he had purchased marijuana from the defendantís apartment approximately twenty times in a period of two months, with the last purchase being made on January 23, 2010.† The police applied for the warrant on January 27, 2010, a judge issued it two days later and the police executed the warrant five days after it issued.† The defendant claimed that the evidence seized from his apartment should have been suppressed because the warrant was issued without probable cause and because it was based on stale facts.† He also claimed that statements that he made at the police station following his arrest confessing to several crimes should also have been suppressed because they directly resulted from the illegal search and seizure. †The Appellate Court (144 Conn. App. 308) affirmed the defendantís convictions, concluding that the trial court properly found that the information contained in the affidavit supporting the warrant application provided a substantial factual basis for the issuing judge's determination that probable cause existed to search the apartment for items related to the sale and possession of a controlled substance.† The court noted that the affidavit contained information supplied by a named informant who met with police on a face-to-face basis such that the police could assess his credibility and demeanor.† The court further noted that the informantís reliability was further supported by the fact that he made statements against his penal interest by telling police that he regularly purchased marijuana from the defendant's apartment.† The Appellate Court also concluded that the trial courtís finding that the warrant was not based on stale facts was proper, as the passage of time between the last purchase by the informant and the execution of the warrant was not unreasonable.† The Supreme Court granted the defendantís petition for certification to appeal and will consider whether the Appellate Court properly affirmed the trial court's denial of the defendant's motion to suppress.