United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K.E. Mahoney, Judge
matter is before the court on Defendant Craig Essing's
motion to suppress (Doc. 56). Essing seeks to suppress
evidence seized and statements made during the execution of a
search warrant at his residence. Essing requests a hearing
under Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978),
arguing that the affiant intentionally or with reckless
disregard for the truth made material omissions from and a
misrepresentation in the search warrant affidavit. In
addition, Essing argues that the information in the affidavit
does not establish probable cause, that it was based
primarily on unreliable information from informants who were
not credible, and that some of the informant information was
stale. The United States (the Government) filed a written
resistance (Doc. 57), asserting that Essing is not entitled
to a Franks hearing, that the warrant is supported
by probable cause, and that if not, agents relied in good
faith on the warrant. I conducted a hearing on the motion on
July 18, 2018 (Doc. 64), and the following exhibits were
offered and received without objection: Exhibit 1,
application, affidavit, and search warrant; Exhibit 2, report
of search warrant execution; Exhibit 3, photograph of Craig
Essing; Exhibit 4, photograph of Craig Essing's
driver's license; Exhibit 5, detention hearing
transcript; Exhibit A, report from meeting on September 6,
2017; and Exhibit B, report from surveillance on August 31,
2017 (Docs. 60, 62, 63). The Government also offered the
testimony of Special Agent Eric Young with the Iowa Division
of Narcotics Enforcement (DNE). For the reasons stated below,
I recommend denying the motion to suppress.
RELEVANT FACTS 
September 7, 2017, Special Agent Bryant Strouse with DNE
submitted an application and affidavit for a state warrant to
search Essing's person, white Ford Ranger pickup, and
residence located in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Ex. 1. The same date, an
Iowa district judge in Webster County issued the requested
warrant, authorizing the search for evidence of
drug-trafficking activities. Ex. 1. The affidavit submitted
in support of the warrant outlined Agent Strouse's
training and experience, included information about common
drug-trafficking methods, and summarized the investigation of
Essing's alleged involvement in distributing
methamphetamine. Id. The affidavit included the
following information about this investigation:
• During a debriefing in July 2015, federal defendant
provided information about supplying “Craig
Essing” with methamphetamine during the summer of 2015.
A.R. said that “Essing goes by the nickname
‘Pops'” and indicated that these drug
transactions occurred at Essing's residence (the
affidavit does not indicate where that residence is located).
o Agent Strouse was aware that Essing has resided at his
current residence (identified in the application as the
residence to be searched in Fort Dodge) since before 2015.
Ex. 1 at 10.
• Special Agent Matt Anderson with DNE provided
information about the November 2016 arrest of M.L.A. in Des
Moines, Iowa. M.L.A. was in possession of $100, 000 in United
States currency and a stolen firearm. M.L.A. described his
prior distribution of methamphetamine to and collection of
United States currency from two people in Fort Dodge-one an
“unidentified older white male [who] lived on the South
side of Fort Dodge and worked in a hospital setting as some
type of therapist.” M.L.A. stated this older white male
received 30-pound quantities of methamphetamine and stored
the methamphetamine in a tire or washing machine.
o Agents verified that Essing previously worked as a nurse
and that his residence is on the south side of Fort Dodge.
Ex. 1 at 9.
• In August 2017, Special Agent Eric Studer with DNE
received information from a confidential source (CS#1) about
the receipt of multiple pounds of methamphetamine in the Des
Moines area and cash deposits made into bank accounts to pay
for the methamphetamine. CS#1 identified M.D. as a person who
made cash deposits into these bank accounts. Ex. 1 at 8.
• On August 31, 2017, Agent Studer relayed information
from CS#1 that M.D. was en route to Fort Dodge from the Des
Moines area to collect money.
o Agents conducting surveillance saw M.D. driving a vehicle
registered to M.D.
o Agent Strouse saw M.D. arrive at a restaurant in Fort Dodge
at around 9:45 p.m. and “meet with a white Ford
Ranger” registered to Essing. Agent Strouse
“observed [M.D.] lean inside Essing's truck and
appeared to conduct some sort of transaction, ”
although Agent Strouse “was unable to exactly determine
what was exchanged.”
o Agent Strouse described the driver of the white Ford Ranger
as “an older white male with longer shaggy type hair .
. . similar in appearance to Essing, ” although Agent
Strouse “was not able to definitively identify Essing
as the driver.”
o The white Ford Ranger left the restaurant approximately ten
minutes later and Agent Strouse “observed the Ford
Ranger drive in a manner consistent with conducting
counter-surveillance [by] circling the block and driving
slowly.” Agent Strouse followed the white Ford Ranger
to Essing's neighborhood but discontinued surveillance at
that time “due to the observations of
o Agent Strouse saw the white Ford Ranger parked at
Essing's residence the next morning (September 1, 2017)
and has seen it parked there “on numerous occasions
since.” Ex. 1 at 10.
• Agent Studer met with CS#1 on September 6, 2017, and
CS#1 relayed that M.D. told CS#1 that M.D. “recently
delivered nine (9) pounds of methamphetamine to ‘the
old man' in Fort Dodge.” CS#1 also said that M.D.
“collected $103, 000 from ‘the old man' in
Fort Dodge and delivered nine (9) grams of heroin to
‘the old man.'”
o Agent Strouse knows that Essing goes by the nickname
“Pops” and believed, based on his observations
and information known about Essing, that Essing was
“the old man” that M.D. discussed with CS#1. Ex.
1 at 11.
• Agent Strouse outlined methods he knows to be used by
drug traffickers based on his training and experience. Ex. 1
Strouse included an “Informant Attachment” for
CS#1, indicating that CS#1:
• is a concerned citizen known to Agent Studer for five
• is a mature individual; . is a person
of truthful reputation;
• has otherwise demonstrated truthfulness;
. has provided information at least 100
times that has led to:
o five search warrants,
o multiple arrests,
o numerous drug-related charges, and
o the seizure of stolen property, drugs, or other contraband;
• has not given false information in the past; and
• provided information during the current investigation
that law ...