State v. Woods

CourtCourt of Appeals of Washington
PartiesSTATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent, v. MYRON LYNN WOODS, JR., Appellant.
Docket Number37985-0-III
Decision Date27 July 2021



No. 37985-0-III

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

July 27, 2021



Myron Woods appeals after being convicted of five counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (UPCS) with intent to deliver and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm (UPFA). Woods received an enhanced sentence based on the jury's findings related to the first UPCS count. The jury found Woods committed that crime with a firearm and it was a major violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (UCSA), chapter 69.50 RCW.

Woods argues the trial court erred in denying his Franks, [1] Knaps tad, [2] and severance motions, and the State produced insufficient evidence to sustain either enhancement. We disagree and affirm. There were no material omissions in the affidavit establishing probable cause, CrR 8.3(c) precluded the Knapstad motion, and sufficient evidence supports the enhancements.


Myron L. Woods is a level 1 registered sex offender requiring yearly address verification. In March 2017, the Pierce County Sheriffs Department began attempting to verify Woods's address. He was last verified living at his mother's residence in March 2016. Between March 5 and June 6, 2017, police made 15 unsuccessful attempts to contact Woods there at various times on different days.

In May 2017, Detective Ray Shaviri contacted Woods's community corrections officer Mike Vitacolonna, who said he suspected Woods was not living at his registered address. Vitacolonna said Woods would arrive at his registered address about 30 minutes after being called. Vitacolonna told Detective Shaviri that he thought Woods lived with his girlfriend, Jennifer Johnson.

On the morning of June 1, 2017, Detective Shaviri went to Ms. Johnson's home. He saw Woods exit the house and talk on the phone. He also saw a white BMW parked next to the garage. The next day, he returned and saw the BMW again, but he did not see Woods.

On June 6, 2017, Detective Shaviri obtained an order authorizing a trap and trace for Woods's cell phone to aid in his investigation of the crime of failure to register and to learn where Woods was residing. The affidavit in support of the trap and trace order alleged the following facts and circumstances:

Based on my experience investigating violations of [RCW 9A.44.132], it is common for offenders to give Law Enforcement a girlfriend, ex-wife, parent or relative's address but live at [a] different location to avoid community notification. It is also common for family and friends to lie to law enforcement about an offender's residency
Myron Woods is a level 1 sex offender .... Woods gave his residence address as 14506 26th avenue court east in Tacoma The residence belongs to his mother
Since 03/05/17, Deputies and Detectives have made 15 attempts to verify Myron's residency in person with no results. The[y] were told by occupants at the house that Myron was at work or many times they got no answer at the door. The attempts were made at different hours of the days and different days of the week to include weekends. ... I called the phone number on record . . . identified myself. . . and stated that this call was regarding his residency requirements. As of this date, I have not been contacted by Myron or anyone in his household.
On 5/31/16, [3] I contacted Myron's Community Corrections Officer, Mike Vitacolonna [who] stated that over the past 2 to 3 months, he has attempted to check on Myron at his residence multiple times with negative results. . . . [H]e suspected that Myron was residing elsewhere.
He stated Myron has a girlfriend named Jennifer Johnson who was also his approved chaperone. . . .
I located Jennifer M. Johnson's residence at 5645 South Cedar Avenue in Tacoma. . . .
On 06/01/17, at about 0825 hours, I drove by 5645 South Cedar Avenue .... At about 0850 hours, I noticed a black male had stepped outside and was sitting on a chair that was to the right of the front door. He appeared to be on the phone. I. . . recognized the male to be Myron Woods.
Your affiant is requesting permission to have T-Mobile obtain location information for [Woods's phone number] in the hopes of building a case to show that Myron Lynn Woods is not residing at his registered address and [is] thereby committing the crime of Failure to register as a sex offender, a violation of RCW9A.44.132, a felony in the State of Washington.

Clerk's Papers (CP) at 29-30.

Detective Shaviri continued conducting physical and electronic surveillance of Woods through June 2017. He saw Woods and his BMW at Ms. Johnson's home many times and saw the BMW at a residence on Waller Road. His investigation revealed that Woods was at his registered address for less than five hours in a two and one-half week period, never spent the night, and stayed with Ms. Johnson or at the Waller Road residence. Detective Shaviri found probable cause to arrest Woods for failure to register as a sex offender. Detective Shaviri enlisted the help of Detective Shawn Darby and the Special Investigations Unit to arrest Woods.

Arrest and subsequent searches

On June 27, 2017, Detective Darby followed Woods's BMW as he left Waller Road and parked in front of a business. When Detective Darby told Detective Shaviri that Woods was parked nearby, Detective Shaviri instructed him to effect an arrest. When Detective Darby and his coworker approached the vehicle, they saw cash and several small "baggies" on Woods's lap. The baggies were tightly wound, filled with a white and a dark brown substance, and looked typical for street level drug sales. They detained a passenger, who identified himself as Julian Jennings. They arrested Woods and found $3, 795 in various denominations on his person.

After Woods was in custody, Detective Darby obtained a search warrant for Woods's vehicles and the Waller Road residence. His probable cause statement in support of the search warrant was based in part on statements given by Mr. Jennings, who said he bought heroin from Woods almost every day.

A search of Woods's BMW revealed two cell phones, a pill bottle filled with 70 alprazolam pills, and 4 amphetamine pills, in addition to the 9 bags of cocaine and heroin seen on Woods's lap before his arrest. The bags of heroin weighed approximately 3 grams each.

A search of the Waller Road residence revealed a surplus of drugs and drug dealing paraphernalia. In a dresser drawer in the bedroom, police found 522 methamphetamine pills and 21 bindles of cocaine weighing approximately 1 gram each. A bindle containing 223 grams of heroin and another 8 bindles each containing 25 grams of heroin were found in the laundry room. They also found tablets with the pharmaceutical markings of oxycodone and loose cocaine on the kitchen table.

The police found numerous items used for the preparation, packaging, and distribution of controlled substances in the kitchen. In the cabinet, detectives found coffee grinders with white powder inside, an electronic money counter, a digital scale covered with white and dark residue, three bottles of caffeine powder, two plastic cups containing black residue, 1, 000 empty gelatin caps, and 18 boxes of plastic bags.

A detective discovered a secret compartment in the kitchen table that contained a kilogram (2.25 pounds) of cocaine. The kitchen table was five to seven feet away from the couch in the living room. Underneath a couch cushion, detectives found a loaded firearm. The firearm was registered to an individual named Kenneth Holtz. Another firearm was found underneath the cushion of a chair nearby. This weapon was registered as stolen.

Procedural history

The State initially charged Woods with six counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree.[4] With respect to the first count, the State alleged various enhancements and aggravators including a firearm enhancement and that the crime constituted a major violation of the USCA. The State additionally charged Woods with failure to register as a sex offender under another cause number not on appeal.

Woods's criminal history showed 12 prior felony convictions, including three second degree child molestation convictions and one second degree assault conviction. In September 2017, the State notified him that he faced sentencing as a persistent offender on count 1.

In January 2019, Woods requested a Franks hearing on the trap and trace order for his cellphone location data. He argued the Department of Corrections (DOC) made numerous contacts with him over the past year, his address was verified in 2016 and no one attempted to do so again until 2017, and only five of the attempted verifications occurred during the period when he had constant contact with the DOC.

The court denied Woods's request for a Franks hearing, finding Woods "has not met his burden of a substantial preliminary showing that a false statement knowingly and intentionally or with reckless disregard for the truth was included by Detective Shaviri in the warrant affidavit." CP at 180. The undisputed facts showed that sheriffs physically went to Woods's registered address 19 times to check on him but never made contact. The DOC had in-person contact at their offices 10 times during that period. The court discounted the 10 in-person contacts at DOC because "[t]he real issue is whether or not defendant was residing at the residence he registered at. . . ." CP at 180.

Woods also moved to dismiss the firearm enhancement on count 1 and the persistent offender allegation pursuant to Knapstad. The court denied the motion. It explained the dismissal of a firearm sentencing enhancement was not appropriate at that time because cases...

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