of Appeals Case No. 19A-CR-246 Appeal from the Jay Circuit
Court The Honorable Brian D. Hutchison Trial Court Cause No.
38C01-1806-F2-13 Tavitas, Judge.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Brandon E. Murphy Muncie, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Samuel J. Dayton Deputy Attorney General.
Galen Byers, on interlocutory appeal, appeals the trial
court's denial of his motion to suppress. We affirm.
Byers raises one issue for our review, which we restate as
whether the trial court erred in denying Byers' motion to
suppress because the warrant to search his home was allegedly
Marcie Vormohr was Byers' neighbor in Portland, Indiana.
In May 2018, Vormohr was mowing her yard when she noticed
something in her yard; after an inspection, Vormohr realized
it was a drone. Vormohr noticed that the drone also had a
computer drive attached. Vormohr purchased a reader for the
device and plugged the device into her home computer to
determine the owner of the drone.
Vormohr found video footage on the drive, that depicted a
woman "tak[ing] out a white [ ] baggie, a small baggie
with white powder substance in it, [and a] cut off straw, and
[Vormohr] found that to probably be drugs." Tr. Vol. II
p. 8. Vormohr also identified Byers on the video, whom she
recognized as her neighbor. After observing the video
footage, Vormohr turned the device and the drone over to law
enforcement due to the video's contents and because she
previously had an issue with drones being flown over her
property. Vormohr testified that she could not
remember the exact date she turned the materials over to law
enforcement; however, she believed that it "may have
been one or two days" after she discovered the drone.
Id. at 7.
Officer Cody Jessee with the Jay County Sheriff's
Department testified that he received the drone and, on May
14, 2018, reviewed the video footage. Officer Jessee observed
that the video's last modified date was May 10, 2018, at
9:32 a.m. Based on Officer Jessee's review of the video
footage, Officer Jessee believed the woman on the video was
in possession of illegal substances. Officer Jessee also
observed Byers flying the drone on the video. After reviewing
the video footage, Officer Jessee obtained a search warrant
for Byers' home.
A search of Byers' home on May 14, 2018, revealed several
drug paraphernalia items, including "snorting devices
containing a powder like substance in them";
"several empty baggies containing a paw print
sticker"; an unlocked safe with "a scattered
crystal like substance as well as a cut straw containing a
crystal like substance." Appellant's App. Vol. II p.
13. In a locked safe, which officers opened, they discovered
"a Glock 30 gen 4, .45 Cal[iber handgun]. . . . [and]
four empty plastic baggies baring [sic] the paw print
sticker;" "green plastic baggie with a crystal like
substance," which weighed .8 grams in its packaging and
tested positive for methamphetamine when field tested.
Id. at 13-14. Officers also found $160.00 in
twenty-dollar bills in the safe and an "ink stamp and
pad and stamp of a paw print" in Byers' bedroom.
Id. at 14.
In the living room, officers uncovered "several burnt
foils which are used in the consumption of
methamphetamine"; a "digital scale under the couch
and a glass bowl," which contained a "crushed
crystal like substance and a cut red straw" that tested
positive for methamphetamine when field tested. Id.
Officers also found with "several feminine items,"
three cut straws, and three plastic baggies "containing
a residue." Id. A search of the bathroom
yielded $3, 684.00 of cash inside a makeup bag; a box
containing baggies with a crystal like substance; and more
cut straws. The three baggies weighed approximately 2.4 grams
in their packaging and tested positive for methamphetamine
when field tested. Officers believed these items to belong to
Jennifer Cook-a woman who was at Byers' home when
Finally, officers found more burnt foils, burnt marijuana
"roaches," snorting devices, another digital
scale; and another 2.4 grams of methamphetamine
"in its original packaging"; and another weapon
loaded with a magazine and additional magazines ...