Motion to Suppress Should Have Been Granted – U.S. v. Lull (4th Cir. 2016)
In this case, the Fourth Circuit ruled that the Motion to Suppress should have been granted because the search warrant application omitted material information about the reliability of the confidential informant, including the informant’s arrest on the same day that the officers applied for the warrant. On the day that the police applied for the warrant, they had terminated the informant for lying to them and stealing some buy money used in a controlled buy with the defendant.
Before entering his plea, Lull argued that the government had obtained the warrant in violation of Franks v. Delaware. The Fourth Circuit held that the police violated the Fourth Amendment and that the conviction and sentence should be vacated because the failure to include in the affidavit the information about the informant’s theft of buy money, his lack of reliability and his termination by the police were material facts that were “at least recklessly” omitted — and not omitted through mere negligence or innocent mistake.