FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
from the Circuit Court for Orange County, Alicia Latimore,
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Pamela J.
Koller, Assistant Attorney General, Daytona Beach, for
S. Purdy, Public Defender, and Robert E. Wildridge, Assistant
Public Defender, Daytona Beach, for Appellee.
State appeals an order suppressing evidence secured pursuant
to a search warrant. Because there was probable cause to
support the search warrant, we reverse.
search warrant affidavit was executed by Detective Kuzma on
October 7, 2015. Kuzma averred that there was probable cause
to believe that cocaine and methamphetamine were being kept
at the residence of Appellant, Brandon Hayward, and his
girlfriend. After detailing his experience and training,
Detective Kuzma attested that earlier that day, he and other
officers had used a confidential source to conduct a
controlled purchase of four ounces of cocaine from Hayward
for $4800. The confidential source requested that Hayward
deliver the cocaine to him at a certain IHOP parking lot.
Hayward told the confidential source that the delivery would
be made in fifteen to twenty minutes.
time Hayward received the call from the confidential source,
he was under surveillance by Detective Kuzma and another
officer. Detective Kuzma observed Hayward drive from a
shopping plaza to his residence. Hayward then exited his car
and entered his residence. Approximately fifteen minutes
later, Hayward and his girlfriend left their residence and
drove to the designated IHOP parking lot. After parking the
car, Hayward exited the vehicle while his girlfriend remained
in the passenger seat. When uniformed police officers
approached Hayward, he unsuccessfully attempted to flee.
During the short-lived chase, Hayward threw a clear plastic
bag containing suspected cocaine. Kuzma tested the suspected
cocaine recovered from the discarded plastic bag using a
field presumptive test kit. The field presumptive test
indicated a positive reaction to the presence of cocaine. The
bag of cocaine weighed 113 grams, or roughly four ounces.
search of Hayward's vehicle was conducted and resulted in
the discovery of another bag of powder cocaine, a bag of
methamphetamine, an electronic scale, and a bag of small blue
plastic baggies, all located in the center console of the
vehicle. The bag of cocaine weighed 46.9 grams and the bag of
methamphetamine weighed 16.5 grams.
Kuzma concluded his affidavit by reciting, "Your Affiant
believes based on his investigation, that additional
controlled substances, evidence of distribution of controlled
substances, and proceeds from the sale/delivery of controlled
substances is stored inside [Hayward's] residence."
The search warrant was executed later that day and resulted
in the seizure of approximately 274 grams of cocaine.
and his girlfriend were jointly charged with trafficking in
28 or more grams of cocaine, trafficking in 200 or more grams
of cocaine, trafficking in a controlled substance, conspiracy
to traffic in 200 or more grams of cocaine, and possession of
drug paraphernalia. Hayward was also charged with resisting
an officer without violence.
filed a motion to suppress the evidence seized in his
residence, asserting that the search warrant affidavit did
not contain sufficient facts to establish probable cause that
contraband would be found in his residence. At the hearing on
the motion to suppress, the trial court heard very brief
testimony from Hayward and Detective Kuzma. To establish his
standing to contest the warrant, Hayward testified that he
lived at the apartment that was the subject of the search
warrant. Detective Kuzma testified that everything he
included in the search warrant affidavit was true and
accurate and that he did not omit any information.
trial court granted Hayward's motion, finding that the
nexus needed to search Hayward's apartment was not
established. The court determined that there were
insufficient grounds to establish probable cause to search
Hayward's apartment and that the good faith exception did
not apply because the affidavit was "completely void of
any indicia of probable cause to search Hayward's
residence." The State timely appealed the order.
conclude that Detective Kuzma's affidavit was sufficient
to establish probable cause for the search warrant. Here,
Hayward told the confidential source that he would deliver
drugs to him in fifteen to twenty minutes. He then drove to
his apartment, remained there for fifteen minutes, and then
drove directly to the meeting place. He was apprehended with
a large quantity of cocaine. Other drugs and paraphernalia
were located in his vehicle. The police searched
Hayward's apartment later that day. Under these facts,
the circumstantial proof of a nexus was sufficient. The
police had Hayward under surveillance from the time he spoke
to the confidential source until the point of delivery.
Hayward told the confidential source that he would meet him
in fifteen to twenty minutes. During that brief interval, he
drove to his apartment, where he remained for a ...