United States v. Justin Thabit, No. 21-4028 (8th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Defendant was arrested pursuant to an absconder warrant for failing to report to his supervising parole officer. Law enforcement received a tip that Defendant was staying at a certain residence and arrested him in the vicinity of the residence. Law enforcement then executed a warrantless search of that nearby residence. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained during the search. The district court granted the motion to suppress, finding that law enforcement did not have reasonable suspicion that Defendant lived at the residence. The government appealed the order granting the motion to suppress, arguing that law enforcement had probable cause or at least reasonable suspicion that Defendant resided at the place searched.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in granting Defendant’s motion to suppress because law enforcement needed probable cause that Defendant was residing at the home in order to execute the warrantless search. The court explained that the informant’s tip had far fewer indicia of reliability to support probable cause without corroboration. True, the CI had given reliable information at least once before, but the record contains no details as to the basis of the tip about Defendant.
Court Description: [Smith, Author, with Kelly and Grasz, Circuit Judges] Criminal case - Criminal law. An officer must have probable cause to believe that a dwelling is the residence of a parolee in order to initiate a warrantless search of a residence not known to be the home of the parolee. In these circumstances, law enforcement did not have probable cause to believe that defendant was residing at a home near the site of his arrest, and the district court properly suppressed the evidence seized in the warrantless search of the home. [ January 04, 2023 ]