State v. McKinney, 368 N.C. 161 (Aug. 21, 2015)

Reversing the court of appeals in this drug case, the court held that the trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to suppress, finding that probable cause existed to justify issuance of a search warrant authorizing a search of defendant’s apartment. The application was based on the following evidence: an anonymous citizen reported observing suspected drug-related activity at and around the apartment; the officer then saw an individual named Foushee come to the apartment and leave after six minutes; Foushee was searched and, after he was found with marijuana and a large amount of cash, arrested; and a search of Fouchee’s phone revealed text messages between Foushee and an individual named Chad proposing a drug transaction. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the citizen’s complaint was unreliable because it gave no indication when the citizen observed the events, that the complaint was only a “naked assertion” that the observed activities were narcotics related, and that the State failed to establish a nexus between Foushee’s vehicle and defendant’s apartment, finding none of these arguments persuasive, individually or collectively. The court held that “under the totality of circumstances, all the evidence described in the affidavit both established a substantial nexus between the marijuana remnants recovered from Foushee’s vehicle and defendant’s residence, and also was sufficient to support the magistrate’s finding of probable cause to search defendant’s apartment.”