United States v. Yarber, No. 18-1469 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
A confidential informant bought cocaine from Yarber on four separate occasions near the same Champaign intersection while police watched. Each time, Yarber drove a white Dodge Charger, which was registered to his girlfriend. Immediately following two buys, Yarber drove to his girlfriend’s apartment. Police surveilled the apartment three other times and saw the Charger parked in front. Once they saw Yarber exit the Charger and go inside the apartment. Police obtained a warrant, authorizing the police to search the apartment for drugs, drug paraphernalia, and suspected proceeds from drug transactions. Nowhere did the affidavit state that Yarber lived at the apartment or that he stayed there overnight. It referred to an Urbana apartment as Yarber’s “residence.” Yarber moved to suppress evidence discovered during the search of the Champaign apartment, arguing that, failing to establish a nexus between the drug dealing and the apartment, the affidavit failed to establish probable cause. After the court denied his motion, Yarber pleaded guilty to drug possession with the intent to distribute and to possession of a firearm by a felon; he was convicted of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and sentenced to 420 months’ imprisonment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The warrant contained other facts sufficient to establish probable cause and, in any event, the police acted in good faith.