United States v. Bacon, No. 20-1415 (7th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Fort Wayne officers received tips about Bacon, who had previously been arrested for selling cocaine from his home. They conducted two controlled buys using confidential informants who had proven reliable in past cases. In both cases, the informant was searched before and after the buy but the actual purchases were conducted by acquaintances of the informants. Each acquaintance acquired drugs and stated that Bacon had weapons all over his apartment. The officers heard these conversations; the informant was wearing a wire. A state-court judge issued a warrant authorizing a search of the apartment. Officers found guns, ammunition, a bulletproof vest, suspected bombs, large quantities of meth, cocaine, and fentanyl, a digital scale, and a drug ledger. Officers stopped Bacon and searched his car; they found drugs and several guns. Both "acquaintances" were later arrested on drug charges,
The district court denied a motion to suppress and a motion for a Franks hearing. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. While these controlled buys present novel risks, they were reliable indicators that Bacon was selling drugs from his home. By all appearances, the middlemen did not know that they were participating in controlled buys and had no apparent motive for deception. That the officers did not know or search the middlemen and that neither they nor the confidential informants saw or heard the actual purchases was “clear from the face of the affidavit” so a Franks hearing was not required.