Submitted: May 12, 2017
from United States District Court for the District of
Nebraska - Omaha
RILEY, BEAM, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.
Carlos Ortiz-Cervantes appeals the denial of his motion to
suppress evidence obtained as a result of the execution of a
warrant to search his residence. After the district
court denied the motion to suppress,
Ortiz-Cervantes pled guilty and was convicted of possession
with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of
methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)
and (b)(1). We affirm, concluding probable cause supported
the search warrant and the search was conducted in good
faith, even though the magistrate judge issuing the search
warrant was not properly cross-designated to issue warrants
for property located outside of his district. See 28
U.S.C. § 1291 (appellate jurisdiction).
13, 2014, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special
agent, Chad Schmitt, filed an application and supporting
affidavit for a search warrant before a magistrate judge in
the Northern District of Iowa (NDIa). The property to be
searched was a single-family residence located across the
Missouri River in South Sioux City, Nebraska.
affidavit detailed ten controlled buys of methamphetamine
from Victor Gonzalez between September 16, 2013, and May 13,
2014. Phone records of calls and text messages before the
controlled buys linked Gonzalez to Jose W. Orellana. Orellana
was in contact with Ortiz-Cervantes before three of the ten
controlled buys, indicating to DEA agents Ortiz-Cervantes
supplied Orellana with methamphetamine, and Orellana, in
turn, supplied Gonzalez.
affidavit also stated Ortiz-Cervantes lived at 3308 Santa
Rita Court in South Sioux City, Nebraska. Ortiz-Cervantes
shared the residence with his sister and her family,
including her husband, Orellana's brother. Orellana
visited the 3308 Santa Rita Court residence shortly before
the controlled buys on October 17, 2013, and May 13, 2014.
conducted a proffer interview on November 13, 2013, with
Jovany Bautista. Bautista stated he had purchased
methamphetamine from "Roberto" in early 2013 and
identified a photograph of Ortiz-Cervantes as Roberto.
Bautista also identified a picture of the 3308 Santa Rita
Court residence as one of the places he met Roberto to
purchase methamphetamine and told agents that Roberto lived
in the basement of the residence while his sister and her
family lived upstairs.
NDIa magistrate judge approved the application and issued a
search warrant for the 3308 Santa Rita Court residence in
South Sioux City, Nebraska. Officers executed the search
warrant and found Ortiz-Cervantes in the basement along with
more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. Ortiz-Cervantes was
subsequently indicted in the District of Nebraska on one
count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or
more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount
of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)
the district court and a magistrate judge in the District of
Nebraska, Ortiz-Cervantes moved to suppress the evidence
obtained as a result of the search of the 3308 Santa Rita
Court residence. Ortiz-Cervantes argued the NDIa magistrate
judge did not have the authority to issue warrants for
searches of property located in the District of Nebraska, and
the affidavit did not include sufficient probable cause.
motion to suppress was denied, and Ortiz-Cervantes
conditionally pled guilty, reserving the right to appeal the
denial of his motion to suppress.