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Probable Cause

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//November 20, 2023//

Probable Cause

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//November 20, 2023//

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Arthur Miles

Case No.: 22-2805

Officials: Flaum, Ripple, and Scudder, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Probable Cause

Law enforcement utilized a confidential source (CS) to conduct two controlled methamphetamine transactions with Christopher Deeren. In these encounters, the CS met Deeren at a gas station and traveled to 3243 Brouse Avenue in Deeren’s various cars. The CS handed cash to Deeren, who then entered the residence. Within minutes, Deeren returned, delivering meth to the CS. Upon returning to the gas station, the CS passed the meth to an undercover officer. Notably, Deeren employed different vehicles for each transaction. Subsequently, officers secured a warrant authorizing the search of the residence and any vehicles on the premises.

Days later, during another controlled buy, officers observed Miles using a key to enter the residence. When Deeren and the CS arrived, Deeren approached Miles on the front porch, leading to the arrest of both individuals. The executed warrant revealed 107.3 grams of meth inside a vehicle, 160.5 grams of meth within the house, 124 grams of a cocaine-containing mixture, two rifles, and drug distribution paraphernalia. After waiving his Miranda rights, Miles admitted to residing at the house and owning two vehicles on the premises, distinct from those used in the controlled buys.

Facing charges of possession with intent to distribute meth and a cocaine-containing mixture, along with knowing possession of two firearms, Miles contended that the warrant lacked probable cause and specificity. The Seventh Circuit upheld the denial of his motion to suppress but vacated Miles’s 240-month sentence. The case was remanded to nullify one of his firearm sentences and consolidate his two firearm convictions.

Affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded.

Decided 11/13/23

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