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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Miller
George Membres v. State
Citation:889 N.E.2d 265 (Ind. 2008)
A confidential informant reported that he had seen another drug dealer at the home of George Membres (defendant) and he believed Membres was dealing large quantities of marijuana from his home. Surveillance officers also observed a car belonging to a suspected drug dealer parked at Membres’s home. Based on this information, an officer seized Membres’s trash in front of his home on collection day. A search of the trash revealed marijuana, burnt ends of marijuana cigarettes, baggies, empty packages of rolling paper, and mail addressed to Membres. Police obtained a warrant to search the home and seized $57,060 in cash, marijuana, rolling papers, drug paraphernalia, firearms, Rolex watches, and other jewelry, cell phones, and documents.
The State of Indiana charged Membres with drug trafficking and moved to transfer the seized property to federal authorities for forfeiture proceedings. Membres moved to stay forfeiture and suppress the evidence, arguing that the search warrant was based on an illegal search of his trash.
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