Bad Affidavit for Drug Search Warrant / Electric Bills


A man was charged and convicted on one count of illegal cultivation of marijuana over 1,000 grams. After pleading no contest, the man was sentenced to maximum five years' community control. The defendant appealed the trial court's decision to overturn his motion to suppress evidence on the grounds that there was an illegal search and seizure. The defendant-appellant claimed that the affidavit supporting the search warrant was not sufficient to warrant probable cause for a search, therefore the search was in violation of the defendant-appellant's Fourth Amendment rights. In this drug offense prosecution, trial court erred in denying motion to suppress since issuance of warrant was improper where it was based on information obtained under a subpoena issued for records of electric utility without a hearing or review by a judge, R.C. 1901.20(B). The judgment was reversed and the case will be reevaluated on the basis of this opinion.