from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Robert J.
Dull, District Associate Judge.
Logan appeals his conviction for possession of marijuana,
R. Weber of Weber Law Office, Orange City, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel L. Mullins, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.
a trial on the minutes of testimony, Cody Logan was convicted
of possession of marijuana, second offense, in violation of
Iowa Code section 124.401(5) (2016). On appeal, Logan
contends the district court erred in denying his motion to
suppress evidence allegedly obtained as a result of an
unlawful search of his residence. More specifically, Logan
contends the warrant authorizing the search of his residence
was not supported by probable cause.
must be supported by probable cause. "The existence of
probable cause to search a particular area depends on whether
a person of reasonable prudence would believe that evidence
of a crime might be located on the premises to be
searched." State v. Davis, 679 N.W.2d 651, 656
(Iowa 2004). This requires the applicant to establish "a
nexus between criminal activity, the things to be seized, and
the place to be searched." State v. Green, 540
N.W.2d 649, 644 (Iowa 1995). In determining whether probable
cause exists, the issuing judge must "make a practical,
commonsense decision whether . . . there is a fair
probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be
found in a particular place." Illinois v.
Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 238-39 (1983); see Davis,
679 N.W.2d at 656. In conducting appellate review of the
issuing judge's determination, we do not make an
independent determination of probable cause. See State v.
Johnson, 756 N.W.2d 682, 686 (Iowa 2008). Instead, we
determine only "whether the issuing judge or magistrate
had a substantial basis for concluding probable cause
existed." Id. When conducting our review, we
only consider the information presented to the district
case, the application for the search warrant contained the
following information. The investigating officer had
twenty-six years of law-enforcement experience. Logan resided
at 1022 Walnut Street, Hull, Iowa, a single-family residence,
with his girlfriend and her family. The investigating officer
had personal knowledge that Logan had a history of drug use.
Also residing at 1022 Walnut Street was another individual
who was known by the investigating officer to be a drug user.
The investigating officer observed significant foot traffic
into and out of the residence during the month of December
2016. The investigating officer observed many vehicles coming
and going from the home during the month of December 2016.
The investigating officer, based on his training and
experience, knew the traffic into and out of the residence at
issue was consistent with drug use in the home or trafficking
out of the home. On December 28, 2016, the investigating
officer conducted a trash pull from the trash left outside
1022 Walnut Street. The investigating officer found eight
small plastic baggies and three pieces of aluminum foil in
the trash bags. Based on the officer's training and
experience, the officer knew drugs were commonly packaged and
stored in small plastic baggies similar to those found in the
trash bags. The investigating officer observed a green leafy
substance in the baggies. The green leafy substance tested
positive for marijuana. The investigating officer observed
small crystal particles in one of the small plastic baggies.
The crystal particles tested positive for methamphetamine.
appeal, Logan challenges several of the above-stated facts
provided in support of the application, but the heart of his
challenge is that there was insufficient evidence
establishing a nexus between himself, the residence to be
searched, and drug activity. We disagree the application was
deficient. We do not view each piece of information in the
warrant in isolation; rather, we look at the totality of
facts set forth in the warrant application. See
Davis, 679 N.W.2d at 656 ("We use the totality of
the circumstances standard . . . to determine whether
probable cause has been established for the issuance of a
search warrant."). Here, the investigating officer had
significant experience. The officer identified Logan as a
resident of the single-family home to be searched. The
investigating officer knew Logan had a history of drug use.
The investigating officer personally observed activity in the
home consistent with drug use and trafficking. The officer
conducted a trash pull from trash left outside the residence
and found paraphernalia, marijuana, and methamphetamine. The
application for the warrant was submitted immediately after
the trash pull was conducted. These facts, in addition to the
remainder of the facts set forth in the application, when
considered together and not in isolation, provide a
substantial basis for the issuing judge to find probable to
issue the warrant. See State v. Padavich, 536 N.W.2d
743, 748 (Iowa 1995) (stating a suspect's past
involvement with drugs and reputation is a factor when
reaching a probable cause determination); State v.
Godberson, 493 N.W.2d 852, 856 (Iowa 1992) ("An
officer's expert opinion is an important factor to be
considered by the judge reviewing a warrant
application."); State v. Jones, No. 15-1520,
2016 WL 3281046, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. June 15, 2016) (holding
warrant supported by probable cause where observations of
drug activity in single family residence were corroborated by
trash pull and citing similar cases); State v.
Smith, 476 N.W.2d 86, 89 (Iowa Ct. App. 1991) (finding
probable cause where application contained information
regarding known drug users).
district court did not err in denying the defendant's
motion to suppress evidence. We affirm ...