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Denial of Motion to Suppress Claiming Deficient Warrant Affidavit Upheld

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By FindLaw Staff on April 05, 2010 4:27 PM

In US v. Billian, No. 09-3385, the Seventh Circuit faced a challenge to a conviction for drug and firearm related crimes, claiming that an officer's affidavit failed to establish probable cause and contained material falsehoods and omissions.

As stated in the decision: "Billian wants us to decide the probable-cause question without regard to the fact that both a state judge and a federal district judge have found probable cause.  After a federal district judge holds an evidentiary hearing and finds probable cause for the search, it would be almost inconceivable for a court of appeals to find probable cause so obviously lacking that the evidence must be suppressed.

Thus, except for a limited remand for determination of whether the district court's error in converting the pounds to kilograms affected the exercise of discretion in sentencing, the court affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress and held that the affidavit established probable cause, and the warrant was otherwise obtained in good faith. 

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