United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS
VICTORIA A. ROBERTS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Harold Belser ("Belser") filed this motion to
suppress the Government's allegedly illegally seized
evidence from his home.
Court DENIES Belser's motion.
Dearborn Police Department received information from a
confidential informant ("CI") that Belser was a
heroin distributor. The CI told the police that s/he had
known Belser for a couple of years and that s/he purchases
heroin from Belser at his home. Officers Cpl. T Donaldson and
Cpl. Micallef drove the CI to Belser's home and showed
him/her Belser's MDOC photo. The CI identified the home
as Belser's and identified the person in the photo as
Belser, whom the CI knew as ISRAK.
August 1, 2016, the police monitored a phone call between the
CI and Belser. The CI asked to purchase heroin from Belser.
Belser told the CI to come to his home at 8461 Vaughan St.
Detroit, Ml to make the purchase.
gave the CI money recorded with a time/date stamp for the
purchase and searched the CI for contraband before s/he
entered Belser's home. Cpl. Alkubani observed the CI walk
in Belser's home. The officers monitored the CI on a
transmitting device. While the device did not record, it
transmitted activity to the officers for them to hear.
did not have the drugs when the CI arrived; he called to have
someone bring a delivery to him. While they waited, officers
heard the sound of someone in the home racking a handgun.
Officers say approximately twenty minutes later an unknown
male arrived in a dark Buick to make the delivery. According
to officer Donaldson's affidavit, "officers heard
what appeared to be a drug transaction between Belser and
[the CI]." After the transaction was complete, the
unknown male left.
couple of minutes later, the police heard someone breathing
deeply and gasping for air. They then heard Belser yelling
and slapping someone to wake up. After Belser yelled
"breathe don't do this to me, " the officers
immediately went in the home; they believed the CI overdosed
and had a medical emergency.
they went inside the home, the officers found the CI slumped
over in the living room. Medics responded and revived the CI.
Officers searched the CI and found twenty-five packets of
fentanyl in the CI's front left pocket. They also
searched Belser and found $170 of the pre-recorded money and
a cell phone. Officers arrested Belser. They conducted a
protective sweep to make sure the home was safe. They secured
the residence, and waited for a search warrant to search the
home. They obtained a warrant based on the facts stated here.
officers took Belser into custody, Sgt. Grandison interviewed
him about a triple homicide that occurred on June 6, 2016. In
that video-recorded interview, Belser admitted to possessing
the handgun found in his home and distributing drugs to the
August 23, 2016, the Government indicted Belser on four
counts: (1) distribution of a controlled substance; (2)
possession of a stolen firearm; (3) felon in possession of a
firearm; and, (4) possession of a firearm in furtherance of
drug trafficking crime.
asks the Court to: (1) find that the officers did not have
probable cause to arrest him; (2) find that the state court
lacked probable cause to issue a search warrant; (3) suppress
evidence seized at his home; and, (4) suppress statements he
made after his arrest. The Government argues that the search
was lawful because of the Emergency Aid Doctrine, and says
officers did not coerce Belser to make a confession. Belser
also argues that the police cannot create an exigency and
then rely on it to excuse a warrantless entry into his home.
facts of this case are not in dispute, but the parties
dispute the application of the law to the facts.