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Search warrants negated in Brooklyn weapon case

Search warrants not executed within 10 days

By: Bennett Loudon//June 1, 2023

Search warrants negated in Brooklyn weapon case

Search warrants not executed within 10 days

By: Bennett Loudon//June 1, 2023

A judge in Brooklyn has suppressed evidence in a weapon case because the search warrant used to seize the evidence was not executed within the required time period.

Defendant Dexter Nurse is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and other related charges. His attorney filed a motion to controvert several search warrants and suppress the evidence seized under those warrants.

According to the affidavit supporting the warrant application, Nurse made several dozen purchases of firearm components through eBay from January to October 2022.

The purchases were made in Nurse’s name, using his e-mail account, and ordering the components to be delivered to his home.

The items were purchased through an online-only source so that would require the use of an electronic device, such as a cell phone, laptop, or other electronic device capable of browsing the internet and making purchases.

The motion to suppress refers to five search warrants issued on Jan. 4 and 5 by acting state Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun.

The Jan. 4 search warrants authorized the search of a gray USB flash drive, a silver ACER laptop computer, a silver HP laptop, and a pink Apple iPhone. The Jan. 5, 2023, search warrant authorized the search of a SIM card in a gold iPhone.

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr.  noted that New York State Criminal Procedure Law Section 690.30(1) requires that: “A search warrant must be executed not more than 10 days after the date of issuance, and it must thereafter be returned to the court without unnecessary delay.”

The prosecutor claims that all the devices to be searched were brought to the evidence lab on Jan. 10, which was within the 10 days, and that the items were “worked on and data was extracted” between Jan. 20 and 24.

The prosecutor also claims that the defendant has not suffered any prejudice because the search results were provided to the defendant within a reasonable amount of time before any scheduled trial date.

The prosecutor admitted that, although the items were brought to the lab on Jan. 10, which is within the 10 days, the items were not evaluated and extracted until, at least, Jan. 20, which is more than 10 days from the date of issuance. Therefore, the search warrants issued on Jan. 4 and 5 were not executed within 10 days of their issuance.

“The defendant’s motion to controvert the search warrant is granted,” Sciarrino wrote.

The decision was based on People v Kiah, a 2017 decision by the Third Department. In Kiah, the defendant was arrested for rape. At the time of his arrest, the police seized a cell phone from the defendant. A search warrant was obtained authorizing the search for subscriber information, text messages, and other data.

The examination of the defendant’s phone pursuant to the warrant was completed 19 days after the warrant was issued. Therefore, the Court held that the fruits of the search must be suppressed as the warrant was not executed within 10 days of being issued.

Sciarrino stayed the decision for 45 days for the prosecutor to determine whether to exercise their right to appeal.

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