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State v. Kinloch

Supreme Court of South Carolina

December 23, 2014

The State, Petitioner,
v.
Bryant Kinloch, Respondent

Heard: October 8, 2014.

Appeal From Charleston County. The Honorable Roger M. Young, Sr, Circuit Court Judge. Appellate Case No. 2012-212981.

Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., both of Columbia, for Petitioner.

Appellate Defender Kathrine Haggard Hudgins, of Columbia, for Respondent.

JUSTICE PLEICONES. TOAL, C.J., BEATTY, KITTREDGE and HEARN, JJ., concur.

OPINION

[410 S.C. 613] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS

PLEICONES, JUSTICE.

Bryant Kinloch was charged with trafficking cocaine, trafficking heroin, and possession with intent to distribute heroin within proximity of a park after law enforcement obtained a search warrant and discovered cocaine and heroin at 609 A Pleasant Grove Lane in Charleston. Before trial, Kinloch moved to suppress the drugs, raising the following grounds to support his motion to suppress: (1) the search warrant affidavit was not sufficient to establish probable

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cause to search 609 A; (2) the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule did not apply; and (3) even if the affidavit were sufficient, law enforcement [410 S.C. 614] intentionally omitted exculpatory information, which, if included, would defeat probable cause. The trial judge suppressed the drugs, finding the search warrant affidavit was insufficient to establish probable cause. The Court of Appeals affirmed. State v. Kinloch, Op. No. 2012-UP-432, (S.C. Ct. App. filed July 18, 2012). The State petitioned for a writ of certiorari, and we granted the petition.

Factual/Procedural Background

Law enforcement prepared an affidavit, setting forth the following facts in support of obtaining a search warrant for 609 A.

On January 2, 2008, law enforcement conducted surveillance of 609 A after receiving " numerous complaints about heroin and cocaine transactions" at 609 A " over the past several months." [1] During its surveillance, law enforcement observed two white males meet with a black male wearing a red shirt, red pants and red hat.[2] The parties entered the residence for about " one minute," and the white males exited the residence, walking in the direction of Highway 17. On three or four other occasions, law enforcement observed the black male in a red shirt exit the residence and meet unknown parties, with whom the black male in a red shirt engaged in quick " hand-to-hand" transactions. Law enforcement observed the black male in a red shirt counting money after the transactions as he returned to 609 A. During each transaction, the black male in a red shirt was accompanied by another male wearing a black puffy jacket. Law enforcement observed the black male in a red shirt walking into and out of the residence on several occasions. At around 5:00 p.m. that same day, law enforcement observed [410 S.C. 615] the male in the black puffy jacket exit the residence and walk towards a gas station on Highway 17. The subject handed an unknown black male, later identified as Redondo Burns, a clear plastic wrapping in exchange for money. Law enforcement approached Burns, at which point he dropped a clear plastic baggy containing a white powdery substance, which tested positive for heroin. Law enforcement observed the male in the black puffy jacket return to 609 A.

Based on the above information, the magistrate issued a warrant to search 609 A for drugs and items related to the purchase and distribution of ...


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