United States District Court, D. Maryland
CATHERINE C. BLAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Goldsberry, who has been charged with unlawful possession of
a firearm, possession with intent to distribute narcotics,
and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug
trafficking crime, has filed a motion to suppress the
evidence obtained during the search of 9740 Covered Wagon
Drive, Apt. B., in Laurel, Maryland, on September 20, 2016.
The search was authorized by a warrant signed by a Howard
County District Judge on September 19, 2016. Oral argument
was heard on October 12, 2017. For the reasons stated below,
the motion will be denied.
first asserts that the affidavit in support of the search
warrant does not set forth probable cause to believe that
evidence of a narcotics offense would be found in Apt. B. He
argues in the alternative that he is entitled to a hearing
under Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978). These
issues will be addressed in turn.
the affidavit describes two controlled purchases of crack
cocaine between a confidential informant (“CI”)
and Goldsberry. It can be inferred from the affidavit that
the first occurred in August 2016 and the second in September
2016. On both occasions, Goldsberry drove to the
meeting location in a Nissan Altima registered to Donita
Hairston at the address of 9740 Covered Wagon Drive, Apt. B.
Goldsberry was seen exiting that apartment prior to the
second controlled purchase. The affidavit also states that
Goldsberry had been seen exiting that apartment during
surveillance in the month of September, and that he had been
seen operating the Nissan Altima on numerous occasions. The
affiant, a Howard County Detective, also referred to his
knowledge that drug distributors often store quantities of
controlled dangerous substances, and firearms or other
weapons, in their residences. He noted that Goldsberry had
several prior convictions, including two for possession with
intent to distribute drugs.
argues that the information in the affidavit is not enough to
establish a nexus between the drug sales and the apartment.
Yet, the facts in this affidavit are very similar to those in
United States v. McNeal, 818 F.3d 141, 150-51 (4th
Cir. 2016). There is undisputed evidence of two direct sales
of crack cocaine from Goldsberry to the CI. In both
instances, he was driving a car registered to the Apt. B
address, surveillance on at least one occasion had placed him
at that address, and he was seen leaving that address
“prior to” the second controlled buy. Goldsberry
correctly notes that the affidavit does not state that Apt. B
was Goldsberry's residence, nor the time interval between
his leaving Apt. B and arriving at the controlled buy
location, and apparently he was not followed from Apt. B to
the location of the drug sale. At worst, however, this
affidavit would be sufficient to justify application of the
good faith exception set forth in United States v.
Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 923 (1984). The affidavit is not, as
Goldsberry argues, either “barebones” or
“so lacking in indicia of probable cause as to
render official belief in its existence entirely
unreasonable.” Id.; See, e.g.,
U.S. v. Williams, 548 F.3d 311, 319 (4th Cir. 2008);
U.S. v. Grossman, 400 F.3d 212, 217-18 (4th Cir.
2005); U.S. v. DeQuasie, 373 F.3d 509, 526 (4th Cir.
alternative, Goldsberry argues that the affidavit (1)
contains false and reckless assertions and omissions that are
(2) necessary to the finding of probable cause and therefore
a Franks hearing is warranted. The burden is on the
defendant to make “a substantial preliminary
showing” that both those prongs are satisfied. U.S.
v. Colkley, 899 F.2d 297, 300 (4th Cir. 1990). He has
failed to carry that burden.
the defendant claims that he did not drive the Nissan Altima
to the first transaction of August 12, 2016. His affidavit,
however, is far from conclusive on that point, and in any
event the other car he says he would have been driving, a
1993 Lexus, also was registered to Donita Hairston at the
Covered Wagon Drive address.
the defendant relies on MVA and other records that identify
an address of 9640 Homestead Court, Apt. M, for Goldsberry.
But the fact of another residence address for Goldsberry does
not negate his connection to Apt. B; a person may well have
connections to more than one residence and a residence may be
“temporary, ” but still connected to drug dealing
activities. See Williams, 548 F.3d at 319;
Grossman, 400 F.3d at 217-18.
officers on surveillance could have readily inferred from
observing the staircase that Goldsberry exited Apt. B, even
if they did not see the door itself open or close.
Goldsberry has failed to show he is entitled to a
Franks hearing, and because the warrant otherwise
contains probable cause or at least is entitled to the
Leon good faith exception, the defendant's
motion to suppress will be denied.
 It was proffered in the defense motion
that the first purchase was on August 12, 2016, and the
second on September 13, 2016.
 Given Goldsberry's acknowledgement
in his affidavit that Donita Hairston is the “mother of
his daughter, ” his connection to the ...