Judicial District of Hartford


†††† †Criminal; Search and Seizure; Whether Search Warrant Application and Affidavit Supported Finding of Probable Cause to Believe that Defendant was in Possession of a Firearm.† The defendant was charged with several counts of criminal possession of a firearm after police executed a search warrant for his residence.† The defendant moved to suppress the evidence seized in the search, claiming that the affidavit submitted by the police in support of the search warrant did not establish probable cause.† The trial court denied the motion to suppress, finding that the search warrant application and supporting affidavit contained sufficient information to support the issuance of the search warrant because there were facts alleged in the affidavit as would persuade an impartial and reasonable mind to believe that contraband or evidence of a crime would be found at the defendantís residence.† The defendant entered a conditional plea of nolo contendere and filed this appeal.† He claims that the affidavit submitted in support of the search warrant did not support a finding of probable cause to believe that he was in possession of a firearm.† He contends that, while the affidavit arguably established probable cause to believe that he had purchased firearm parts, it did not support a reasonable conclusion that he had acquired all the parts necessary to construct an operable firearm.† The defendant claims that, at best, the affidavit supported only the conclusion that he had lawfully purchased unregulated firearm parts.† The defendant also argues that the search warrant application and affidavit did not provide a sufficient basis for a finding of probable cause in that they contained unreliable information provided by both the police affiants and by a man who sold the defendant a gun part.