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JUST BECAUSE YOU SELL DRUGS DOESN’T MEAN THE POLICE CAN SEARCH YOUR HOUSE…IN NC

In State of North Carolina v. Allman (COA 15-40, January 5, 2016), the Appellate Court, the court ruled that the police could not search a house where known narcotic sellers lived if no facts were presented in the search warrant affidavit that drugs were expected to be found at the residence. Just because known sellers lived there, if there were no observations linking the house to narcotic sales, they could not search it.

Furthermore, just because the police said that probable cause existed, without actual facts alleged in the affidavit, just sayin’ it did not make it so. Also, the warrant allegation stating that two occupants of the house were engaged in drug trafficking did not translate into a natural and reasonable inference that drugs were possessed, sold or manufactured at the house.

Now, the law in NC is different from the federal law. The federal laws permit the inference that “in the case of drug dealers, evidence is likely to be found where the dealers live.”