U.S. Third Circuit - The FindLaw 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Suppression of Evidence in Federal Narcotics and Weapons Case Reversed

In US v. Stearn, No. 08-3230, the court faced a challenge to the district court's order granting in part motions to suppress evidence following a grand jury's indictment of defendants for federal narcotic and weapons offenses.

In reversing the district court's judgment in its entirety, the court held that the magistrate judge had a substantial basis for determining that probable cause existed to search a home that was apparently the residence of a confirmed drug dealer. 

Although closer probable cause questions were presented by searches of other residences, each search was upheld under the Leon good faith exception. 

Finally, suppression of a defendant's saliva sample as "fruits of the poisonous tree" is reversed as he failed to prove a primary invasion of his own Fourth Amendment rights.

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