December 1, 2016
from Spartanburg County J. Derham Cole, Circuit Court Judge
Appellate Case No. 2015-002221
OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS
Michael Patrick Scott, of Nexsen Pruet, LLC, and Chief
Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, both of Columbia,
Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Assistant Attorney
General Mark Reynolds Farthing, of Columbia, and Solicitor
Barry J. Barnette, of Spartanburg, for Respondent.
PLEICONES ACTING JUSTICE
Thompson was convicted of trafficking in cocaine in excess of
400 grams, possession of a weapon during the commission of a
violent crime, and possession with intent to distribute
("PWID") marijuana. He was sentenced to concurrent
sentences of twenty-five years' imprisonment, and two
terms of five years' imprisonment, respectively.
pre-trial hearing, Thompson challenged the admissibility of
the evidence recovered during a search conducted at his
parents' home located in Spartanburg County at 120 River
Street,  arguing the affidavit supporting the
search warrant for the property was invalid. The trial judge
found the affidavit was sufficient, and denied the motion to
suppress the evidence. The Court of Appeals affirmed
Thompson's convictions and sentences. See State v.
Thompson, 413 S.C. 590, 776 S.E.2d 413 (Ct. App. 2015).
We granted Thompson's request for a writ of certiorari to
review the Court of Appeals' decision. Because we find
the affidavit supporting the search warrant fails to
establish a fair probability that the evidence sought would
be found at 120 River Street, we hold the Court of Appeals
erred in affirming the trial judge's denial of the motion
to suppress the evidence recovered there.
to trial, Thompson moved to suppress the evidence seized from
120 River Street. Thompson challenged the search warrant
under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution,
Article I, § 10 of the South Carolina Constitution, and
S.C. Code Ann. § 17-13-140 (2014). Specifically,
Thompson argued the affidavit in support of the search
warrant was insufficient because it: relied on information
that was stale; provided information from informants without
any indicia of their reliability or basis of knowledge; and
offered defectively unspecific facts as to whether the
evidence sought would be found at Thompson's parents'
affidavit supporting the search warrant for the premises,
which was provided to the issuing judge on May 13, 2010,
In June of 2007 Investigators from the Spartanburg County
Sheriff's Office Narcotics Division had two different
Confidential Reliable Informants (CRI) give information that
they had been buying large amounts of cocaine from a black
male that they only knew as "POO BEAR." These two
CRI's [sic] stated that several large cocaine
transactions took placed [sic] over the course of several
months. These CRI's [sic] furnished information that was
able to be corroborated such as vehicle descriptions and
photo identifications. Both CRI's [sic] stated that they
knew POO BEAR to drive a gray in color Honda Accord Station
wagon when he would conduct these drug deals. It was learned
through this Investigation that "POO BEAR" was
positively identified as Alfonso Thompson and he also had an
F350 Ford Dually [sic] blue and Gold in color. In August of
2007 the SCSO Narcotics Division arrested Keith Jeter who
stated that he was being supplied 4 ½-9 oz. of cocaine
at a time from Alfonzo Thompson aka "POO BEAR."
Jeter further stated that "POO BEAR" would bring
the cocaine to his residence on Huxley St. in Spartanburg
City. In September of 2008 the SCSO Narcotics Division
interviewed a [sic] individual named Fred Meadows who stated
that he was being supplied cocaine from "POO BEAR"
and that "POO BEAR" drove a blue and gold Ford
F-350 Dually [sic]. Meadows further stated that he grew up
with "POO BEAR" in the city and has known him for a
long time. Meadows stated that "POO BEAR" would
deliver the cocaine to his house on Virginia St. in the city
of Spartanburg. Also in late 2008 Spartanburg City Police
Narcotics had an informant who came forward and stated the
[sic] "POO BEAR" had a residence at the end of
River St. on the left hand side and that "POO BEAR"
was a large scale cocaine Trafficker [sic]. In January of
2009 the Spartanburg County Narcotics Division had two more
different CRI's that came forward and stated that they
had purchased 18 ounces of cocaine from "POO BEAR."
They identified Alfonzo Thompson in a photo lineup as being
the "POO BEAR" that they had dealt with. These two
CRI's also confirmed that "POO BEAR" had an
F-350 Ford Dually [sic] and it was Blue and Gold in color. On
February 11, 2009 The [sic] Spartanburg County Narcotics
Division arrested Jose Luis Diaz-Arroyo with a kilo of
cocaine. During the interview with Arroyo he stated that his
brother in law Alejandro Sosa Galvan was supplying a black
male named "POO BEAR." Arroyo further stated that
Sosa Galvan had multiple Kilos of cocaine delivered to
"POO BEAR" at this River St. address on several
different occasions. On July 30, 2009 a fifth CRI stated he
was being supplied by a Deangelo Young aka "LITTLE
MAN" and that Young was getting his cocaine from his
cousin "POO BEAR." This CRI made a controlled buy
from "LITTLE MAN" by taking him $4000 in
Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office recorded funds.
"LITTLE MAN" left the buy location and was followed
to 1868 Tamara Way where he met with "POO BEAR"
(THOMPSON). Thompson was driving a white in color Honda Civic
Sc [sic] tag . This Civic is registered to a Pamela D.
Jones of 1868 Tamara Way. Pamela Jones is a known girlfriend
of "POO BEAR." "LITTLE MAN" left
"POO BEAR" and met with the CRI at the buy location
where he turned over 4 ounces of Cocaine to him.
Over the past 6 months the Spartanburg County Sheriff's
Office Narcotics Division has conducted surveillance on 120
River St. and on several occasions has seen Thompson driving
different vehicles to include the Ford F-350 Dually [sic]
blue and gold in color and the white in color Honda Civic to
and from this location. Investigators have also seen the gray
in color Honda Accord station wagon come and go from this
Over the past 6 months Investigators have witnessed Thompson
visit this 120 River St. address just before making cocaine