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Ector v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

October 18, 2018

Anthony Ector, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Shatrese M. Flowers, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49G20-1604-F2-12806

          Attorney for Appellant Ellen M. O'Connor Marion County Public Defender Agency Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana, Henry A. Flores, Jr. Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          NAJAM, JUDGE.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] Anthony Ector appeals his convictions, following a jury trial, for dealing in cocaine, as a Level 2 felony; dealing in marijuana, as a Level 5 felony; possession of a narcotic drug, as a Level 5 felony; and for being a habitual offender. Ector raises a single issue for our review, namely, whether the trial court erred under Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution when it admitted evidence that had been seized pursuant to a warrantless search of a vehicle, which was parked in the driveway of a residence that officers had a warrant to search and in which residence the officers had found Ector along with substantial amounts of contraband.

         [¶2] We affirm.[1]

         Facts and Procedural History [2]

         [¶3] On April 1, 2016, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department ("IMPD") officers executed a search warrant at a "trap house" in Indianapolis. A "trap house" is a house used "to sell narcotics," and, "if anyone stays there, it's[ ]on an infrequent basis" such that there are not "a lot of personal items there that could be traced back to an individual." Tr. Vol. II at 17. Officers would not "expect somebody to live" in such a house. Id. Although no one was known to live in the house being searched, the house nonetheless had bars over the windows, barricaded doors, and security cameras around the exterior. The search warrant specifically permitted officers to seize any keys found inside the residence for the purposes of "aid[ing] in the identification of the individuals involved in the trafficking of controlled substances at the residence . . . or which may provide evidence of the connection of such individuals to the residence . . . ." Ex. Vol. I at 59-60.[3]

         [¶4] Upon entering the residence, officers observed Ector standing near a staircase and holding an AK-47 assault rifle. A nearby officer "pointed [his rifle] at Mr. Ector, clicked off the safety, and advised him [to] please drop the gun." Tr. Vol. III at 32. Ector threw his firearm toward a nearby couch and fled into another room. Officers pursued and apprehended him. Officers also detained two other individuals inside the residence: Kevin Rent and Charles Polk.

         [¶5] Inside the residence, officers seized the following items:

• a Glock 22 handgun with an extended magazine;
• three bags containing cocaine with an aggregate weight of 146.6 grams (about one-third of one pound);
• a duffel bag and a trash bag containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of approximately 6, 733 grams (just shy of fifteen pounds);
• four scales, several small plastic baggies, and items with narcotics and heroin residue on them;
• approximately $2, 000 on Ector and Rent, mostly in twenty dollar bills;
• a bottle of sleeping-aid pills used to cut heroin;
• Polk's resume;
• a photograph of Ector and Polk together;
• Rent's debit card; and
• keys found in the dining room.

         [¶6] Outside the residence were two vehicles parked in the driveway of the residence: a Chevrolet Trailblazer and a Toyota Camry. On his person, Rent had keys to the Trailblazer and also to the front door of the house. Officers contacted the Bureau of Motor Vehicles ("BMV") to identify the owner of the vehicle based on the ...


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