from the Delaware Circuit Court Trial Court Cause No.
18C02-1806-F5-92 The Honorable Kimberly S. Dowling, Judge
Attorneys for Appellant Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Laura R. Anderson Deputy Attorney General
Attorney for Appellee Angelus T. Kocoshis Muncie, Indiana
The State of Indiana appeals the trial court's
suppression of evidence found during a search of the
residence of Dusten Vance ("Vance"), based upon the
trial court's determination that the search warrant was
issued without probable cause. The State contends that the
warrant was supported by probable cause developed in a series
of controlled buys and that, even if probable cause was
lacking, the officers acted in good faith and the
exclusionary rule should not apply. We affirm.
and Procedural History
During April of 2018, Investigator Tyler Parks of the
Delaware County Sheriff's Office ("Officer
Parks"), assisted by a confidential informant
("CI"), was involved in three state-sponsored buys
of cocaine. On April 13, April 20, and April 23, 2018, CI was
searched and provided with photocopied money. On each
occasion, CI contacted an individual described by law
enforcement as the "Target." (Tr. at 17.) On the
first occasion, Target went to a hotel before providing CI
with cocaine. On the second occasion, Target went to a
residence before providing CI with cocaine.
On the third occasion, Target was picked up at a residence
and driven to a street corner, where he exited the vehicle
and began to walk north. Target was under police surveillance
at that time, but the visual surveillance was interrupted for
a short time. When visual surveillance was restored, officers
observed Target leaving Vance's residence. Target
provided CI with 1.5 grams of cocaine. Target was then taken
back to the residence where he had been picked up.
Officer Parks executed an affidavit of probable cause for a
search warrant of an address on Turner Street. He stated that
"This house has an occupant of Dustin [sic] Vance aka
(dustball)." (App. Vol. II, pg. 44.) The affidavit
represented that members of the Delaware County Narcotics
Unit had conducted "controlled cocaine purchases"
and these were "from the same unnamed target."
(Id. at 43-44.) The search warrant for Vance's
residence was granted and, upon its execution, officers found
cocaine and marijuana.
The State charged Vance with Possession of
Cocaine and Maintaining a Common
Nuisance. Vance moved to suppress the evidence
obtained during the execution of the search warrant, alleging
that material facts had been omitted from the affidavit for a
search warrant and the warrant was unsupported by probable
cause. At the suppression hearing, conducted on July 5, 2018,
Vance elicited evidence to show that he was not Target and
Target had not been searched as part of the state-sponsored
buys. Vance argued that the affidavit for the search warrant
omitted this material information and that the State had, in
fact, conducted what was "really an uncontrolled
buy." (Tr. at 32.)
On July 6, 2018, the trial court issued its suppression
order. Having found that Target was never searched, the trial
[T]he officers had no knowledge of whether the target had the
drugs on him when he entered into or exited from the
locations to which he was directing the CI.
The target simply entering into a location does not establish
that, given all of the circumstances set forth in the
affidavit, there is a fair probability that contraband or
evidence of a crime will be found.
Vol, II, pg. 85.) The State dismissed the charges against
Vance, without prejudice, and brought this appeal pursuant to
Indiana Code Section 35-38-4-2(5).