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People v. Clark

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fifth Division

October 9, 2014

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
REECE JOHN CLARK, Defendant and Appellant.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles, No. GA082341 Dorothy L. Shubin, Judge.

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COUNSEL

Julie Schumer, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Assistant Attorney General, Michael R. Johnsen, Mary Sanchez and Garett A. Gorlitsky, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

MOSK, J.

INTRODUCTION

Defendant and appellant Reece John Clark (defendant) pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and a short-barreled shotgun. On appeal, defendant contends that the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress evidence pursuant to Penal Code section 1538.5 (section 1538.5). According to defendant, the affidavit in support of the search warrant did not establish probable cause to search his residence because, although it showed that he possessed and was cultivating marijuana, it did not address whether the marijuana was possessed or cultivated for medical purposes.[1]

We hold that, even though there was no showing on the issue of whether the marijuana was possessed or cultivated for medical use, the affidavit in support of the search warrant established probable cause to search. Therefore, the trial court did not err in denying the suppression motion. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of conviction.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND[2]

The statement of probable cause in support of the search warrant provided the following facts: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy

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Michael Gaisford had extensive training and experience in, inter alia, the field of street level drug sales, including drug recognition. Within 15 days prior to preparing his statement of probable cause, Deputy Gaisford received information from a confidential informant that “an illegal in-door marijuana grow was established in the City of Pasadena” in a residence on East Orange Grove Boulevard. The confidential informant told the deputy that defendant lived at that residence and that he maintained the “marijuana grow” in the garage. After questioning the informant, the deputy formed the opinion that he “demonstrated a strong and thorough knowledge regarding marijuana cultivation.”

Based on the information provided by the informant, Deputy Gaisford initiated a narcotics investigation at the Pasadena address provided by the informant. The deputy and a detective conducted a surveillance of that residence and observed two vehicles parked there that, according to the informant, defendant owned. They then saw defendant ...


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