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United States v. Hansen

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

July 31, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RYAN GENE HANSEN, Defendant.

ORDER REGARDING MAGISTRATE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION CONCERNING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO SUPPRESS

MARK W. BENNETT U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND .............................................. 2

A. Procedural Background ........................................................... 2
B. Factual Background ............................................................... 4

II. LEGAL ANALYSIS ........................................................................ 7

A. Standard Of Review ................................................................ 7
B. Objections To Report And Recommendation ................................ 12
1. Was Deputy Radmaker’s noncompliance with Iowa law deliberate and intentional? ............................................. 12
2. Does Leon’s Good Faith Exception Apply? ......................... 15

III. CONCLUSION ............................................................................ 16

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

A. Procedural Background

On March 27, 2013, an Indictment was returned against defendant Ryan Gene Hansen, charging him with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance or mixture containing methamphetamine which contained 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A) and 846, and possessing with intent to distribute a substance or mixture containing methamphetamine which contained 5 grams or more of pure methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B). Defendant Hansen filed a motion to suppress in which he seeks to suppress evidence seized as a result of the placement of a Global-Positioning-System (“GPS”) tracking device on his automobile, evidence found during a search of his automobile on March 16, 2013, and any statements he made to law enforcement officers on that date. Hansen contends that the installation of the GPS devices was unlawful because it occurred after the expiration of the initial warrant authorizing that installation. Second, he argues that both the warrant authorizing installation of the GPS device on his automobile and the warrant extending the deployment of the GPS device were unlawful because the law enforcement officer applying for the warrants was not authorized to do so under Iowa law. Third, Hansen argues that, under Iowa law, the warrants could not authorize the gathering of information outside of Kossuth County, the county where they were issued. Fourth, he contends that the warrants were invalid because they were not supported by probable cause. Finally, Hansen argues that the Leon good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule, see United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984), should not apply because law enforcement officers could not have acted in good faith reliance on the warrants.

The prosecution filed a timely resistance to Hansen’s motion. Hansen’s motion to suppress was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Leonard T. Strand, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). On June 5, 2013, Judge Strand conducted an evidentiary hearing and subsequently filed a Report and Recommendation in which he recommends that Hansen’s motion to suppress be denied. In his Report and Recommendation, Judge Strand concluded that the initial warrant, authorizing installation of the GPS device on Hansen’s automobile, was executed within ten days of its issuance and therefore was not void at the time of its execution. Judge Strand also found that, under Iowa law, once a GPS device is installed by a law enforcement officer, it may be monitored regardless of whether the target vehicle leaves the county of issuance or the state of Iowa. Judge Strand further concluded that the deputy who applied for both the warrant authorizing installation of the GPS device on Hansen’s automobile and the warrant extending the deployment of the GPS device was unauthorized to do so under Iowa law. As a result, Judge Strand found that both warrant applications were made, and both warrants were issued, in violation of Iowa law. However, Judge Strand further determined that the deputy’s failure to comply with state law did not result in prejudice and was not intentional and deliberate. Thus, Judge Strand determined that the procedural violation of Iowa law did not trigger the exclusionary rule and that the validity of the warrants was governed by Fourth Amendment standards. Applying those standards, Judge Strand found that probable cause supported issuance of the GPS warrants. Alternatively, Judge Strand concluded that if the GPS warrant applications were not supported by probable cause, the Leon good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies because the law enforcement officer obtaining the warrants acted in reasonable reliance on the state magistrate's determination of probable cause for issuance of the warrants. Therefore, Judge Strand recommended that Hansen’s motion to suppress be denied.

Defendant Hansen has filed objections to Judge Strand’s Report and Recommendation. The prosecution filed a timely response to Hansen’s objections. I, therefore, undertake the necessary review of Judge Strand’s ...


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