United States v. Huskisson, No. 18-1335 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Arrested on drug conspiracy charges, Hardy led DEA agents to his drugs and guns and provided information that Hardy purchased methamphetamine from Huskisson six times over the preceding five months, for $8,000 per pound, at Huskisson’s house and at his car lot. Huskisson had stated that Huskisson’s source expected a shipment of methamphetamine the next day. Hardy called Huskisson. Agents recorded that conversation. Huskisson agreed to deliver 10-12 pounds of methamphetamine. The next day, the two agreed during additional recorded calls that the deal was to occur at Huskisson’s home that night. Agent Cline followed Hardy to Huskisson’s house; watched Hardy enter, with an entry team on standby; and saw a car pull into the driveway. Two men exited the car with a cooler and entered the house. Minutes later, Hardy walked outside and gave a prearranged signal to indicate he had seen methamphetamine in the house. No search warrant had yet been issued.
The entry team entered the house and arrested Huskisson, who refused to consent to a search of his residence, and the other men. Officers saw in plain sight an open cooler with 10 saran-wrapped packages of a substance which field tested positive for methamphetamine. DEA agents then filed the warrant application, which stated: “The law enforcement officers observed an open cooler with ten saran wrapped packages that contained suspected methamphetamine. The suspected methamphetamine later field tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.” The warrant issued four hours after the initial entry. The Seventh Circuit upheld denial of a motion to suppress. The entry was unlawful. Ordinarily, the evidence would be excluded but because the government had so much other evidence of probable cause, and had already planned to apply for a warrant, the evidence is admissible. Though the government should not profit from its bad behavior, neither should it be placed in a worse position.