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State v. Teague

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

June 5, 2018

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
JOSEPH EDWARDS TEAGUE, III

          Heard in the Court of Appeals 17 May 2018.

          Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 8 December 2016 by Judge Michael R. Morgan in Wake County No. 14 CRS 205326 Superior Court.

          Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Kevin G. Mahoney, for the State.

          Appellate Defender Glenn Gerding, by Assistant Appellate Defender Jillian C. Katz, for defendant-appellant.

          TYSON, Judge.

         Joseph Edward Teague, III ("Defendant") appeals from a judgment entered upon a plea agreement from which he pleaded guilty to a count of possession with intent to sell or distribute marijuana and possession of marijuana. We find no error.

         I. Background

         On 6 March 2014, Raleigh Police Detective N.D. Braswell applied for a search warrant for the premises located at 621 Manchester Drive in Raleigh, North Carolina. In his probable cause affidavit (the "Affidavit"), submitted to a magistrate, Detective

         Braswell stated that "he received information from a concerned citizen in the neighborhood who wants to remain anonymous . . . that he/she believes narcotics are being sold from 621 Manchester Drive." The Affidavit does not state when Detective Braswell received this information from the anonymous tipster, nor what led the tipster to "believe[] narcotics [were] being sold from 621 Manchester Drive." Based upon the anonymous tip, Detective Braswell began an investigation and surveillance of activities occurring at 621 Manchester Drive (the "Residence").

         According to the Affidavit, Detective Braswell drove by the Residence and checked the license plate number on a 1989 Buick automobile parked in the driveway through CJLEADs, a law enforcement database. This database search showed the automobile was registered to Laura Teague. In the Affidavit, Detective Braswell stated, "I am familiar with this address and the son of Ms. Teague from my previous assignments as a patrol beat officer with Raleigh Police Department. Joseph Edwards Teague III is the son of Ms. Teague."

         Detective Braswell "then checked city of Raleigh databases" and found Defendant had an established waste and water utilities account for the Residence. Detective Braswell "utilized another database and confirmed that [Defendant] lives at 621 Manchester Dr."

         After noting the "regular refuse day for [the Residence] is Thursday, " Detective Braswell averred in the Affidavit that he had "conducted a refuse investigation in the early morning hours of Thursday." Detective Braswell did not designate what was the date of the Thursday he had conducted the refuse investigation, nor to which "Thursday" he referred. The trash can Detective Braswell searched was located to the left of the driveway of the Residence, "only inches from the curb line." There was not a house or structure located to the left of the Residence. The nearest structure to the left of the Residence was a church at an unspecified distance.

         Inside the trash can, Detective Braswell found three white trash bags. Detective Braswell found a red Solo cup containing a green leafy substance; five cut-open food saver bags; and a Ziplock bag containing trace residue "of what appear[ed] to be marijuana" inside the trash bags. Inside one of the trash bags, Detective Braswell also found a Vector butane gas container, which he noted in the Affidavit can be "used to make butane hash oil by extracting the THC from marijuana through the use of butane." According to the Affidavit, Detective Braswell "utilized a narcotics analysis reagent kit to test the substance for marijuana. The green leafy substance field tested positive for marijuana."

         In the Affidavit, Detective Braswell also included information about prior criminal charges and case dispositions involving Defendant, including:

[Defendant] was charged with possession [of] marijuana [of] less than one half ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia . . . . He accepted a plea to possession of drug paraphernalia. [Defendant] was charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia . . . and dismissed by [the] DA. [Defendant] was charged with PWISD marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia . . . . He accepted a plea to possession of drug paraphernalia.

On 6 March 2014, Detective Braswell submitted an application along with the Affidavit to obtain a warrant to search Defendant's Residence. The magistrate found probable cause and issued the search warrant. Pursuant to that warrant, law enforcement officers searched Defendant's Residence on 7 March 2014, and the following items were seized:

1.358 grams of marijuana
2.40.39 grams of marijuana
3.39 grams butane hash oil
4.$1, 015 in United States currency
5.55 grams of butane hash oil in multi-colored containers
6.2 empty red plastic containers
7.Time Warner mail addressed to Defendant.
8.1 gram of butane hash oil on a Silpat.
9.a black pelican case containing a glass ...

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