United States v. Haldorson, No. 18-2279 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Haldorson, a fireworks enthusiast and a drug dealer, was arrested on his way to a second controlled buy. Along with drugs, officers found three pipe bombs in his car. He was charged with several counts related to drugs, explosives, and a firearm. Haldorson unsuccessfully moved to suppress evidence and was convicted on four counts of the seven-count indictment: distribution of cocaine, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1); possession with intent to distribute cocaine, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1); possession of MDMA, or ecstasy, and cocaine, 21 U.S.C. 844(a); and possession of an explosive during the commission of a felony, 21 U.S.C. 844(h)(2). The court vacated Count Three because it was a lesser-included offense of Count Two and sentenced Haldorson to 192 months’ imprisonment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, upholding the denial of the motions to suppress. Probable cause, based on the controlled buy three weeks earlier, supported the arrest and exigent circumstances existed for the warrantless search of his bedroom. There was a legitimate concern that other homemade explosive devices were in Haldorson’s bedroom and were dangerous to others. The jury instructions did not constructively amend the indictment for unlawfully carrying an explosive and permit the jury to convict him on a broader basis than charged.