Unwitnessed Controlled Buy Supports PC – State v. Keyes

State v. Keyes is a New Jersey Supreme Court case that was published this morning. In Keyes, the Justices review the factors that will support a finding of probable cause when the information available to the police comes from a confidential informant.

In this case, the informant had provided reliable information in the past that had resulted in arrests for drug offenses. He also agreed to make a controlled buy for the police. However, the police were not able to observe the controlled buy as it occurred.

The local municipal court issued a search warrant based upon an affidavit that included information related to the informant’s past reliability, the unwitnessed controlled buy and other factors.

The Supreme Court ruled that, based upon the totality of the circumstances, there was ample evidence in the search warrant application for the municipal court judge to have found probable cause to issue the warrant. The Justices also noted that a controlled buy and one other piece of corroborating evidence will usually be enough evidence to establish probable cause.

Download a copy of State v. Keyes

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