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Esco v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 14, 2014

DONALD W. ESCO, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Plaintiff

Editorial Note:

These opinions are not precedents and cannot be cited or relied upon unless used when establishing res judicata or collateral estoppel or in actions between the same party. Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure 65(D).

APPEAL FROM THE LAKE SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Thomas P. Stefaniak, Jr., Judge. Cause No. 45G04-1107-FA-30.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: THOMAS W. VANES, Merrillville, Indiana; MARK A. BATES, Office of the Public Defender, Crown Point, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana; JODI KATHRYN STEIN, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

FRIEDLANDER, Judge. KIRSCH, J., and BAILEY, J., concur.

OPINION

MEMORANDUM DECISION - NOT FOR PUBLICATION

FRIEDLANDER, Judge

Donald Warren Esco brings an interlocutory appeal of the denial of his motion to suppress. Esco presents the following consolidated and restated issue for review: Did the search warrant become stale and, therefore, invalid because of the passage of eight days from issuance and eleven days from the controlled buy giving rise to probable cause for the warrant?

We affirm.

On June 24, 2011, Gary Police Detective Willie McLemore arranged a controlled drug transaction between a confidential informant and Esco. At McLemore's direction, the informant made a phone call to arrange the purchase of $60 worth of crack cocaine at the home where Esco resided.[1] The informant then drove to this residence and was admitted entry after knocking on a rear door. After a brief conversation with individuals in the home, the informant met with Esco in the living room for the drug transaction. The informant provided the buy money to Esco and, after going into another room, Esco returned and handed the informant 1.7 grams of crack cocaine. The informant wore an audio/video recording device throughout the controlled buy, allowing constant police surveillance.

Thereafter, on Monday morning, June 27, 2011, Detective McLemore obtained a search warrant for the target residence. The warrant authorized a search of this home for crack cocaine and anything related to the operation of an illegal drug trafficking operation, as well as a search of Esco's person. The warrant expressly required that the search occur by July 6, 2011.

Officers executed the warrant on July 5, 2011, while Esco was inside the residence. Among other things, the officers seized approximately 98 grams of crack cocaine, money, a scale, a box of sandwich bags, marijuana, and firearms. As a result of the search, the State charged Esco with class A felony dealing in cocaine, class C felony possession of cocaine, and class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Esco later filed a motion to suppress all evidence obtained during the search. Following a hearing, the trial court denied the motion on February 11, 2013. Upon Esco's motion, the trial court certified its suppression ruling for interlocutory appeal. This court accepted ...


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