Application for Writs from the Fourth Judicial District Court
for the Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana Trial Court No.
15F18622, Honorable Larry D. Jefferson, Judge.
S. TEW District Attorney, Counsel for Appellant.
R. EADE Assistant District Attorney, KEVIN H. JOHNSON,
Counsel for Appellee.
WILLIAMS, LOLLEY and CARAWAY (Ad Hoc), JJ.
defendant, Daryl Nelson, was charged by bill of information
with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute,
possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The district
court granted the defendant's pretrial motion to suppress
evidence seized from his vehicle. The state sought
supervisory review of the trial court's ruling and this
court granted the writ to the appellate docket as to the
suppression of evidence seized from defendant's vehicle.
For the following reasons, we recall the writ, deny the
state's application in part and affirm the suppression of
record shows that on the morning of July 22, 2015, a
confidential informant advised Officer Scotty Sadler, of the
Monroe Police Department Metro Narcotics Unit, that defendant
was in possession of a large amount of narcotics. After
participating in a previous drug investigation, Officer
Sadler was familiar with defendant and his residence at 117
Selman Drive. The informant reported that, on the previous
night, defendant had displayed more than 4 ounces of crack
cocaine and more than 2 pounds of marijuana while attempting
to make a sale and that the narcotics remained in
defendant's home. The informant also provided a
description of the vehicle driven by defendant and the name
of the other drug dealer to whom the drugs were offered for
sale the night before. Based on this information, Officer
Sadler submitted to the district court an affidavit in
support of a search warrant stating that the house at 117
Selman was identified as defendant's residence and had
been used to facilitate drug sales.
obtaining the search warrant, Officer Sadler went to the
residence accompanied by Officer Kris Fulmer to conduct
surveillance in preparation for the execution of the warrant.
Officer Heckard, another member of the Monroe Police
Department Metro Narcotics Unit, set up surveillance behind
the residence. Shortly after their arrival, the officers
observed a vehicle matching the description provided by the
informant pull into the driveway of 117 Selman. The vehicle
remained at the house for a few minutes, then left. As the
car passed Officers Sadler and Fulmer, they recognized the
driver as defendant with an unidentified passenger in the
vehicle. The officers contacted DEA Agents Zordan and Cowan,
who were nearby in a vehicle with lights and a siren, to stop
defendant. Agent Zordan had previously participated in the
execution of a search warrant at defendant's residence
that resulted in his arrest on a narcotics charge. Officer
Sadler wanted to make the stop far enough away from the
residence so that no other possible target would be alerted
to the police presence and impending search. The
defendant's vehicle was stopped approximately one mile
from the residence.
defendant exited his vehicle, he was detained by Officer
Sadler and advised of his rights under Miranda v.
Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694
(1966). Officer Fulmer moved defendant's vehicle from the
roadway. The officers detained defendant at the location of
the traffic stop for approximately five to ten minutes to
allow the SWAT team time to secure the house. Defendant was
driven to the residence by Agent Zordan and Officer Fulmer
drove defendant's vehicle to the house. While in
defendant's car, Officer Fulmer observed a bag on the
front floorboard and touched it with his hand. Defendant had
not consented to Officer Fulmer's operation of his
Sadler later testified at the preliminary exam that after
returning to the house he again advised defendant of his
Miranda rights, requested permission to search his vehicle
and that defendant consented to the search. During the
search, a bag of marijuana and a handgun were found in
defendant's vehicle. As a result of the residence search,
police seized marijuana, cocaine, digital scales, Pyrex
dishes used to cook crack cocaine, and approximately $10, 000
in cash. Following the search of his residence, defendant was
taken to the Metro Narcotics Unit office, was advised of his
Miranda rights and made a statement to officers. Defendant
was then arrested and charged with possession of marijuana
with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent
to distribute, and possession of a firearm by a convicted
to trial, defendant filed numerous motions, including a
motion to suppress evidence seeking the exclusion of any
statements made to officers and all property seized from his
vehicle and residence. Defendant argued in part that he had
not given free and voluntary consent to the search of his
vehicle, and that all evidence seized as a result of that
search should be suppressed. He also moved for a hearing
under Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 98 S.Ct.
2674, 57 L.Ed.2d 667 (1978), on the ground that the search
warrant affidavit included an intentional false statement.
The state opposed the defendant's motions, alleging that
he had voluntarily consented to the search of his vehicle
after being advised of his Miranda rights and that he failed
to show an intentional false statement was made.
hearing on the motion to suppress, defense counsel argued
that at the time defendant's vehicle was stopped, he was
improperly detained by officers and his vehicle was not
mentioned in the search warrant. The defense stated that at
the time of the alleged consent to the vehicle search there
were approximately 19 to 28 armed officers present. Defendant
testified that while he was being detained, he merely told
the officers that they had already been in his vehicle when
he was asked for permission to conduct a search.
Sadler testified that at the house, he advised defendant of
his Miranda rights and requested permission to search his
vehicle. Sadler stated that defendant was nonchalant and
commented that it did not matter what he said because the
officers would get a warrant and search the vehicle anyway.
Another state witness, Agent Cowan, testified that he
witnessed Officer Sadler advise defendant of his rights,
heard Officer Sadler request permission to search the
vehicle, and heard defendant's consent to the search.
Agent Zordan testified that he did not recall Officer
Sadler's recitation of rights, but that he heard Officer