State v. Eason, No. 98-2595-CR.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Citation2001 WI 98,629 N.W.2d 625,245 Wis.2d 206
Decision Date09 July 2001
PartiesSTATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Appellant-Petitioner, v. Rayshun D. EASON, Defendant-Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 98-2595-CR.

245 Wis.2d 206
2001 WI 98
629 N.W.2d 625

STATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
Rayshun D. EASON, Defendant-Respondent

No. 98-2595-CR.

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Oral argument April 12, 2001.

Decided July 9, 2001.


245 Wis.2d 213
For the plaintiff-appellant-petitioner the cause was argued by Stephen W. Kleinmaier, assistant attorney general, with whom on the briefs was James E. Doyle, attorney general

245 Wis.2d 214
For the defendant-respondent there was a brief and oral argument by Suzanne Hagopian, assistant state public defender

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Howard B. Eisenberg, Milwaukee, on behalf of the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

¶ 1. N. PATRICK CROOKS, J.

This case concerns a no-knock search warrant that authorized police officers to enter an apartment without knocking on the door and announcing their presence. When the police officers executed the search warrant, they found Defendant-Respondent Rayshun D. Eason (Eason) running down a hallway toward the kitchen. After apprehending him, they found a baggie of crack cocaine in the hallway through which Eason had run. The State charged Eason with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. Eason moved to suppress the cocaine as evidence. The circuit court granted the motion to suppress and the court of appeals affirmed. State v. Eason, 2000 WI App 73, 234 Wis. 2d 396, 610 N.W.2d 208. Both the circuit court and the court of appeals concluded that the affidavit submitted in support of the search warrant did not justify authorizing a no-knock entry. This court agrees. Although this is a close case, the evidence presented in the affidavit is not sufficient to establish the requisite reasonable suspicion that knocking and announcing would be dangerous, futile or inhibit the effective investigation of a crime by allowing for the destruction of evidence.

¶ 2. However, we conclude that the evidence should not be suppressed even though the no-knock portion of the warrant was invalid. Although the exclusionary rule typically operates to exclude evidence

245 Wis.2d 215
obtained from unreasonable searches and seizures — and a search based upon an invalid search warrant is per se unreasonable — there are exceptions. Here, because the police officers acted in objectively reasonable reliance upon the search warrant, which had been issued by a detached and neutral magistrate, the laudable purpose of the exclusionary rule — deterring police from making illegal searches and seizures — would not be furthered by applying the exclusionary rule. Accordingly, we recognize a good faith exception to the exclusionary rule

¶ 3. We hold that the good faith exception applies where the State has shown, objectively, that the police officers reasonably relied upon a warrant issued by an independent magistrate. The burden is upon the State to also show that the process used in obtaining the search warrant included a significant investigation and a review by either a police officer trained and knowledgeable in the requirements of probable cause and reasonable suspicion, or a knowledgeable government attorney. We hold that this process is required by Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution, in addition to those protections afforded by the good faith exception as recognized by the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984). Accordingly, we reverse the court of appeals decision that affirmed the circuit court's order suppressing the evidence, and remand the case to the circuit court for further proceedings.

I

¶ 4. On April 27, 1998, City of Beloit Police Officer John Fahrney prepared an affidavit in support of a request for a search warrant with a no-knock entry:

245 Wis.2d 216
WHEREAS, John Fahrney, being first duly sworn, on oath has this day complained in writing to said court upon oath...[t]he facts tending to establish the grounds for issuing a Search Warrant are as follows:
1.) Your affiant...states he is familiar with the confidential files kept by the Beloit Police Department Special Operations Bureau and as a result knows that the Beloit Police Department has received 2 pieces of intelligence indicating that Clinton Bentley is a drug dealer.
a.) Within the past seventy two hours your affiant met with a reliable confidential informant at a pre arranged location. Upon meeting with this reliable confidential informant your affiant searched the reliable confidential informant for controlled substances and U.S. currency and found none. Your affiant provided this reliable confidential informant with less than $100.00 in U.S. currency so the reliable confidential informant could purchase a quantity of cocaine from Clinton Bentley. Your affiant then observed the reliable confidential informant travel directly to 802 Bluff St Apt B. Your affiant also observed the reliable confidential informant leave 802 Bluff St and travel directly back to another prearranged location. Once at this prearranged location the reliable confidential informant gave your affiant a quantity of suspected cocaine that he/she had purchased from Clinton Bentley. The reliable confidential informant was again searched for controlled substances and U.S. currency and again none was found.
Your affiant then went to the Beloit Police Department and tested a sample of the suspected cocaine using the cobalt thiocyanate field test and in doing so your affiant received a positive test for the prescence [sic] of cocaine. The cocaine was then
245 Wis.2d 217
placed into evidence at the Beloit Police Department.
2.) Your affiant did a subscriber check for the residence at 802 Bluff St Apt B through WP&L and learned that Shannon Eason has been responsible for the utilities since October 1997.
3.) Your affiant checked Beloit Police computer records which indicate that Clinton Bentley resides at 802 Bluff St. Clinton Bentley was arrested in April 1998 and listed 802 Bluff St as his residence.
4.) Your affiant has checked the criminal histories of both Clinton Bentley and Shannon Eason and in doing so has learned that BENTLEY was arrested by the Belviere Illinois Police Department in 1989 for AGGRAVATED ASSAULT. Your affiant also learned that EASON has been arrested for such things as larceny (nine times), Obstructing (three times), and ASSAULT (twice).
5). Your affiant has been a police officer since 1990 and has participated in approximately 70 drug raids. Your affiant is assigned to the Special Operation Bureau and my duties are to investigate complaints of drug trafficking, gang involvement, and other quality of life issues.
Your affiant is a K-9 officer and has had specialized training in narcotic detection using the K-9. This training was received at North Central Canine Institute in 1992 and has received updated training on a yearly basis.
Your affiant has also been involved in the investigations of other serious criminal offenses including, but not limited to, aggravated batteries, burglaries, robberies, sexual assaults, thefts and child abuse offenses.
Your affiant knows through training and experience that short term traffic where controlled
245 Wis.2d 218
substances are transported to and from a drug dealers residence is common and that often times drug dealers who don't reside there are present, arrive or are leaving at the time we execute our search warrants. These drug dealers often have vehicles to transport them that are not owned by them or registered to them. Affiant, based on his training and experience with others in that field believes that where illegal drugs are sold by one person, they are purchased by others and commonly carried on the persons of both. It is also true of locations where drug use takes place, persons commonly carry illegal drugs on their body.
Based on affiant's training, experience and associations with others in those fields, he is aware that persons involved in many illegal activities, including drug related crimes often arm themselves with weapons, including firearms and sometimes use those weapons against the police and others. These persons will also destroy or conceal evidence if given time. Affiant, based on the stated experience, training and association, is aware that a very important factor in controlling persons and in particular, during drug raids, is surprise and speed. Affiant is also aware that control reduces the likelihood of injury to all involved. Affiant is aware that announcement eliminates surprise and provides persons within a residence time to take actions that would require a reaction by officers. For these reasons affiant requests that a NO KNOCK search warrant be issued.

(Fahrney Aff. at 4-7.) Based on the information contained in the affidavit, Rock County Court Commissioner Stephen D. Meyer issued a search warrant, which included authorization for a no-knock

245 Wis.2d 219
entry. The warrant was issued at approximately 2:50 p.m. on April 27, 1998.1

¶ 5. On May 1, 1998, Beloit police officers executed the search warrant at the location specified therein, 802 Bluff Street, Unit B, an apartment in Beloit. The officers executed the search warrant, proceeding into the apartment by breaking the door in. Upon entering the apartment, the officers found Eason, his aunt, Shannon Eason, Clinton Bentley, three other adults and two small children located within the apartment. Officer Fahrney observed Eason and Shannon Eason running out of the living room down a short hallway towards the kitchen. Officers James Kumlien and John McMahon apprehended Eason and Shannon Eason in the kitchen. Officer Kumlien then found cocaine on the floor of the hallway that Eason and Shannon Eason ran through, although he did not see anyone drop or throw the cocaine on the floor.

¶ 6. The State charged Eason with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, while within 1000 feet of a school or park, in violation of Wis. Stat. §§ 961.41(1m)(cm)1 and 961.49 (1997-98).2 Eason moved to...

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153 practice notes
  • State v. Brown, No. 2017AP774-CR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 3, 2020
    ...Wisconsin Constitution to afford greater protections. See State v. Tompkins, 144 Wis. 2d 116, 132, 423 N.W.2d 823 (1988) ; State v. Eason, 2001 WI 98, ¶60, 245 Wis. 2d 206, 629 N.W.2d 625 ("Indeed, herein, we find that Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution guarantees more prot......
  • State v. Scull, No. 2011AP2956–CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • March 5, 2015
    ...reliance on a search warrant issued by a detached and neutral magistrate that is ultimately found to be defective. State v. Eason, 2001 WI 98, ¶ 3, 245 Wis.2d 206, 629 N.W.2d 625. Reliance on a warrant is objectively reasonable when: the warrant was preceded by a substantial investigation, ......
  • State v. Dubose, No. 2003AP1690-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 14, 2005
    ...proceedings consistent with this opinion. II ¶16 On review of a motion to suppress, this court employs a two-step analysis. State v. Eason, 2001 WI 98, ¶9, 245 Wis. 2d 206, 629 N.W.2d 625. First, we review the circuit court's findings of fact. We will uphold these findings unless they are a......
  • Davis v. State, No. 59
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • October 21, 2004
    ...United States v. Tavarez, 995 F.Supp. 443 (S.D.N.Y.1998); State v. Van Beek, 591 N.W.2d 112 (N.D. 859 A.2d 1118 1999); State v. Eason, 245 Wis.2d 206, 629 N.W.2d 625 (2001). We agree with those * * * * "[E]ven if we had concluded that Judge Sweeney should not have authorized a no-knock entr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
153 cases
  • State v. Brown, No. 2017AP774-CR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 3, 2020
    ...Wisconsin Constitution to afford greater protections. See State v. Tompkins, 144 Wis. 2d 116, 132, 423 N.W.2d 823 (1988) ; State v. Eason, 2001 WI 98, ¶60, 245 Wis. 2d 206, 629 N.W.2d 625 ("Indeed, herein, we find that Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution guarantees more prot......
  • State v. Scull, No. 2011AP2956–CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • March 5, 2015
    ...reliance on a search warrant issued by a detached and neutral magistrate that is ultimately found to be defective. State v. Eason, 2001 WI 98, ¶ 3, 245 Wis.2d 206, 629 N.W.2d 625. Reliance on a warrant is objectively reasonable when: the warrant was preceded by a substantial investigation, ......
  • State v. Dubose, No. 2003AP1690-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 14, 2005
    ...proceedings consistent with this opinion. II ¶16 On review of a motion to suppress, this court employs a two-step analysis. State v. Eason, 2001 WI 98, ¶9, 245 Wis. 2d 206, 629 N.W.2d 625. First, we review the circuit court's findings of fact. We will uphold these findings unless they are a......
  • Davis v. State, No. 59
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • October 21, 2004
    ...United States v. Tavarez, 995 F.Supp. 443 (S.D.N.Y.1998); State v. Van Beek, 591 N.W.2d 112 (N.D. 859 A.2d 1118 1999); State v. Eason, 245 Wis.2d 206, 629 N.W.2d 625 (2001). We agree with those * * * * "[E]ven if we had concluded that Judge Sweeney should not have authorized a no-knock entr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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