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United States v. Cole

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

April 5, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RICKIE DEAN COLE, Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER

          JOHN E. DOWDELL, CHIEF JUDGE.

         The Court has for its consideration Defendant Rickie Dean Cole's Motion to Suppress (Doc. 19). Neither Defendant Cole nor the government requested an evidentiary hearing on the Motion, and the Court has determined that an evidentiary hearing is not required.[1]

         I. Statement of Facts

         On January 30, 2018, Senior Agent Spencer Gilmore of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics obtained a warrant from Creek County Associate District Judge Mark Ihrig to search 144 E. Liggett St., Slick, Oklahoma, for evidence of violations of state laws related to the unlawful possession and distribution of controlled dangerous substances. The warrant application contained an affidavit (“the Affidavit”) from Agent Gilmore that included a description of the property to be searched and seized; a description of Agent Gilmore's training and experience; and an explanation of common practices of users, distributors, and traffickers of methamphetamine. The affidavit also contained the following facts:

A. Between the dates of January 1st and January 30th 2018 three separate Narcotic transactions were conducted from Rickie Cole at Cole's residence located at 144 E Liggett St, Slick, OK 74010 B. On the first buy, your affiant utilized a Confidential Informant (CI) to purchase, methamphetamine from Rickie Cole at Cole's residence located at 144 E Liggett St, Slick, OK.
C. On the second buy, your affiant utilized a Confidential Informant (CI) to purchase, methamphetamine from Rickie Cole at Cole's residence located at 144 E Liggett St, Slick, OK. Your affiant accompanied the (CI) to Cole's residence, and observed Cole retrieve the methamphetamine from outside the residence, and bring it back inside the residence where the (CI) was waiting.
D. On the third buy, your Affiant utilized a Confidential Informant (CI) to purchase methamphetamine from Rickie Cole at Cole's residence located at 144 E Liggett St, Slick, OK. Your Affiant accompanied the (CI) to Cole's residence and observed the (CI) retrieve the methamphetamine from an area outside Cole's residence.
E. Rickie Cole is currently on federal probation for drug offenses. On January 30th 2018 your affiant spoke with Sharla Belluomo with the United States Probation Office. Belluomo indicated that she has made several home visits with Rickie Cole at his residence, and that Cole's listed address is 144 E Liggett St, Bristow, OK.
F. Your affiant has also reviewed water/utility records that show Rickie Cole to be the account holder for 144 E Liggett St, Bristow, OK.

(Doc. 19-1 at 6-7).

         The search warrant was issued on January 30, 2018, and was executed on February 1, 2018. Law enforcement recovered two cellular telephones, a “pay/owe” sheet, an AT&T Customer letter, digital scales, a .32 caliber revolver, a 9mm Taurus semi-automatic pistol, a pump action shotgun, methamphetamine, marijuana, and marijuana seeds. On July 12, 2018, a grand jury returned an indictment (Doc. 2) charging Cole with one count of felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(1). This charge carries a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence.

         In his Motion to Suppress, Cole argues that the information in the Affidavit was insufficient to support a finding of probable cause to issue the search warrant and that the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule does not apply. As a result, Cole contends that the Court should suppress any evidence obtained from the search. In its Response (Doc. 50), the government asserts that there was probable cause to support the search and that the good-faith exception would apply even in the absence of probable cause.

         II. Analysis

         A. ...


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